Work-related stress has unfortunately become a norm for many people no matter where they are in the world. Limited resources, long hours, demanding deadlines, job insecurity, and interpersonal conflict can greatly affect one’s emotional and physical health.
According to the American National Institute of Mental Health, chronic stress can cause headaches, insomnia, and irritability. People under stress are sometimes more susceptible to colds and other viral illnesses. Untreated, long-term stress has also been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression.
Exercise is one of the most powerful and proven forms of stress relief. This means that your favorite martial arts disciplines can be the key to reducing the emotional and physical problems caused by stress in the workplace. If your job has you stressed out, go to your practice mat and punch, grapple, and kick your troubles away. Martial arts can greatly improve your physical and mental well-being, plus improve your relationships with others. The benefits of martial arts can make you as strong, uplifted, and fierce in the boardroom as you are in a sparring match.
Most health care providers would recommend exercise as a way to improve your physical health and well-being. This also extends to combating workplace stress. The Centers for Disease Control cites weight control, improved cardiovascular health, reduced risk of cancer, improved sleep, and increased lifespan as some of the many benefits of physical activity.
Exercising, whether you are kicking a pad or rolling on the mat, can help you ease the typical physical strains caused by the modern work environment. Many working adults spend their days sitting in front of computers and making long commutes to and from the office.
This can lead to pain in the wrists, neck, back, and shoulders, and can even lead to weight gain from being inactive for many hours at a time. Even those in more “active” professions such as nursing or manufacturing can experience pain from long periods of standing or doing repetitive movements.
When you come home from a long day of work, try to resist the urge to plop down in front of the TV and instead grab your gym bag (or better yet, take it with you to work) and head out the door. Once you begin to stretch and move, you’ll notice how light and relaxed you feel. If you’re working out hard enough you may even get that nice rush of endorphins that can improve mood, ease the pain, and ensure you have a good night’s sleep that will leave you refreshed and ready for another day on the job.
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