Boost Your Resilience: The Stress-Busting Exercise You Need to Try
Entrepreneurship comes with its fair share of stress, and every business leader knows that feeling of carrying the weight of every crisis, triumph, and setback. While stress may be an inherent part of the entrepreneurial journey, it doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Recent research suggests that a specific type of exercise can act as a vaccine against stress, training your body to handle it more effectively. In this article, we explore the benefits of this exercise and how it can help protect you from the physical toll of chronic stress.
The Hidden Dangers of Chronic Stress:
Chronic stress takes a toll on your body, increasing the risk of various health issues, ranging from depression to heart problems. However, the negative physical effects of stress can be mitigated by training your mind and body to handle stress in a healthier way.
Shift Your Perspective on Stress:
Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal’s enlightening TED Talk encourages us to rethink our perspective on stress. But in addition to the mental aspect, there’s a physical component that plays a crucial role in building resilience. According to health psychologist Elissa Epel, author of “The Stress Prescription,” a specific type of exercise can enhance your body’s ability to metabolize stress effectively, safeguarding your well-being.
Harnessing Stress to Protect Your Body:
In a recent article by Greater Good, a publication from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, key insights from Epel’s book are revealed. The article presents seven steps to enhance resilience to stress, with one particular exercise standing out for its fresh and practical approach.
Exercise as the Ultimate Stress Protector:
Exercise has long been recognized for its ability to protect the body from stress. Countless studies attest to the mental and physical benefits of breaking a sweat. However, Epel takes it a step further, explaining that the right kind of exercise can train your body to process stress at a cellular level.
Unlocking the Power of Hormetic Stress:
Epel introduces the concept of “hormetic stress,” occasional doses of high stress that the body can tolerate and quickly recover from. These controlled bursts of stress build resilience at a cellular level, equipping us to handle future stressors more effectively. It’s akin to receiving a stress vaccine, preparing your body for the next challenge.
The Magic of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):
Epel recommends integrating high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your exercise routine. HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise, followed by brief periods of rest. While it may sound demanding, the benefits are worth it. HIIT not only helps you forget your worries and maintain a healthy heart, but it also enhances your body’s stress-processing capabilities.
Minutes of Discomfort for Profound Results:
If the idea of intense exercise doesn’t appeal to you, there are alternative options. However, they may not be much more pleasant. Epel suggests that exposing yourself to extreme cold or heat for short periods could also yield similar benefits, although the science is still emerging in this area. Remember, these activities only require a few minutes of discomfort to reap the rewards. The profound benefits of HIIT can shield you from the physical harm that often accompanies the entrepreneurial journey.
Being an entrepreneur means facing stress head-on. However, you have the power to protect yourself from the detrimental effects of chronic stress. By incorporating high-intensity interval training or other hormetic stress-inducing activities into your routine, you can train your body to handle stress more effectively. Embrace this exercise vaccine, and watch as your resilience grows, allowing you to navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship with greater ease and improved well-being.