Juggling the stresses of modern life can often have a detrimental effect on our health. If we don’t have a suitable stress busting method, it can seriously impact upon our mental-health and lead us straight into the jaws of anxiety, sleepless nights and depression.

Whilst I am a fan of tried and tested methods such as a hot bath, herbal teas and holistic massage, I wanted to look at alternative methods to help us all with our inner peace and ensure no matter how stressful life can become, we don’t let it affect our wellbeing.

Not only does regular exercise reduce the risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50%, but just 30 minutes a day can boost self-esteem, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression and dementia.

If exercise is going to work for you, its needs to be something you enjoy. If you chose a work-out that’s a chore, is it really the best option for you? Try to find a fun exercise you look forward to. These tried and tested options always have me smiling.

Dancing. We’d all love a dancer’s body, but just consider how 30 minutes to an hour moving around to the beat of a good song will dramatically improve not only your stamina, muscle tone, flexibility and overall fitness, but your mood and stress levels. It’s also a very social sport – get friends to go along with you or take up ballroom with your partner. Either way, you’re on the path to a stress-free life.

For animal lovers, how about horse riding? It may seem like a lazy exercise option as your steed will be doing the leg-work, but horse riding does wonderful things for your core strength and leg muscles. It has also been proven to improve your sense of wellbeing, possessing the same antidepressant effects as a runner’s high. Whilst trotting on horseback can burn just as many calories as a gym session, horse riding is also a natural stimulator of the hormone serotonin and therefore leads to a feeling of happiness once done.

Horse riding stress busting

If you do decide to saddle up, you need some good equipment to ensure you stay safe and comfortable atop a horse. My top recommendation is footwear – Daburry boots are a great choice and if you’re a little nervous atop a steed, perhaps investing in safety gear like a hit air vest will put you at ease and allow you to relax when riding.

Confident in the water? Then try swimming. Swimming in an incredible, fully-body workout and the focus you put into it really helps you to unwind. I personally find gliding through the water extremely therapeutic.

If you want more advice on stress-busting exercises and just how much you should be doing, the NHS has some great information online.

 

About The Author

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I've worked as an Occupational Therapist for many years dealing with physical and mental health patients, both in hospitals and the community. Living a healthy, well balanced life with a good diet, regular exercise and a taking a positive outlook are crucial to becoming a very well being indeed - sometimes easier said than done!

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