As you get older, you’ve got to stay positive. For example, the other day I fell down the stairs. Instead of getting upset, I just thought, “Wow, that’s the fastest I’ve moved in years.”
Moving. Activity. Get up and get going. But what if I don’t want to? I think about these facts:
If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.
A whale swims all day, only eats fish, only drinks water, and is still fat.
A rabbit only eats vegetables, runs and hops all day long, and only lives five years.
A tortoise doesn’t run and does nothing energetic, yet it lives for 45o years.
And you tell me to exercise! I don’t think so. Well, maybe. Exercise does help with stress relief. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters (endorphins). It’s meditation in motion. And it improves your mood. (Source: mayoclinic.org)
Rest and relaxation is not just a cliche. Rest can be relaxing, of course. But we all know that exercise can also be relaxing. Exercise is a form of physical stress. Can physical stress relieve mental stress? Alexander Pope thought so: “Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.” Plato agreed: “Exercise would cure a guilty conscience.” You’ll think so, too — if you learn to apply the physical stress of exercise in a controlled, graded fashion. (Source: harvard.edu)
Of course, exercise takes many forms, including yoga, which can greatly reduce stress. Something I enjoy is simple breathing exercises. Rapid, shallow, erratic breathing is a common response to stress. Slow, deep, regular breathing is a sign of relaxation. You can learn to control your breaths so they mimic relaxation; the effect, in fact, will be relaxing.
Deep breathing is easy to learn. You can do it at any time, in any place. You can use deep breathing to help dissipate stress as it occurs. Practice the routine in advance; then use it when you need it most. If you find it helpful, consider repeating the exercise four to six times a day — even on good days. (Source: harvard.edu)
“You’re still a rockstar,” I whisper to myself as I take my multivitamin and climb into bed at 9:45.