• The Mental Benefits of Stretching and How to Harness Stress Management

    The Mental Benefits of Stretching and How to Harness Stress Management

Have you ever experienced achy joints or back pain? Sure you have. Pain can interfere with our ability to focus and makes us more reactive in social and professional situations. One way to battle negativity caused by pain is to harness the mental benefits of stretching. 

Mental Benefits of Stretching

While most people know that exercise is essential for your overall health, not nearly as many people are aware of the power of stretching for mental health. Some think of stretching and exercise only in the context of yoga, however, stretching is a vital part of any exercise routine. Additionally, stretching can be done on its own without any additional activity to improve your health, mood, and mental well-being. You can expect to experience these benefits with regular stretching:

  • Help managing stress
  • Help with pain management
  • Boost energy levels
  • Enhance inner peace and positivity

Why Should You Stretch?

As we mentioned, it’s not just about physical fitness. Did you know that stretching can improve your mental outlook? Any type of stretching, yoga or otherwise, can reduce stress. This is because stretching increases circulation, promotes deep breathing, and reduces pain caused by inflammation. And the best part is that you don’t need to spend any money on equipment or gym memberships to start stretching daily.

When you stretch, your body releases some of your favorite feel-good chemicals – endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that engage the brain’s pain receptors and reduce your perceived pain levels. Additionally, when this occurs you also feel more positive and capable. When this reaction occurs, it can be compared to the way you feel while enjoying an entertaining TV program or spend time with a friend.

Tips for Proper Stretching

  • Warm-up before you stretch
  • Focus on tight and sore muscles
  • Don’t bounce when you stretch
  • Stretch for at least 10 minutes

Make Sure You’re Stretching Properly

You can actually do more harm than good by improper stretching. Especially if you’ve injured the area previously and attempt to stretch it poorly. If you feel any pain when you stretch, ease up and ask a professional how to stretch that muscle. You should focus on the major muscle groups like:

  • Upper back
  • Lower back
  • Pelvis
  • Legs
  • Hips
  • Neck
  • Shoulders

When it comes to stretches for mental health, routine is everything. Just put it on your calendar and remember it only takes a few minutes a day!

If you want other helpful tips to keep you energized as you age, check out our FREE e-book Living and Aging the Way You Want. Inside you will find helpful bits of advice on living your best life. Download your PDF by clicking the icon below.

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