How Pilates Can Help with Stress and Anxiety
Everyone gets stressed from time to time. It’s only natural, but when stress becomes constant in your life it could impact your overall health. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Since April is National Stress Awareness month, we wanted to share some ways you can use Pilates to decrease stress and anxiety in your everyday life.
Breathing is at the center of Pilates. It’s one of the core items that helps us obtain “complete coordination of body, mind and spirit,” (Joseph Pilates, Return to Life through Contrology) which is what inspired the development of the practice. Breathing oxygenates your blood which triggers your brain to calm down. Naturally, this decreases our stress and anxiety.
In the book Return to Life through Contrology, Joseph Pilates defines what breathing (specifically deep breathing) should look like. He says “Squeeze every atom of air from your lunges until they are almost as free of air as is your vacuum.” (Joseph Pilates, Return to Life)
This type of breathing helps increase your circulation allowing fresh blood to flow throughout your body.
Pilates is a time for you to escape the stresses of everyday life and concentrate on centering yourself. You can leave all your problems at the door and concentrate on the here and now. Once your lesson or class is completed, you’ll be awakened with a new mental clarity to whatever stresses you were dealing with before your lesson or class. Often you’ll leave with a new perspective on the stressor, similar to what you experience when you ‘sleep on something.’ Embrace this feeling as it may allow you to move on from the issue at hand.
Have you ever noticed that you feel better overall after working out? That’s because your body is releasing endorphins. Endorphins are a chemical that your body releases giving you the feeling of happiness. It’s also been shown to be effective in relieving the symptoms of clinical depression. When you’re beginning to feel a little down, it might be a good idea to grab your mat and practice some Pilates exercises.
Learn more about how Pilates can be used to relieve stress and anxiety at Erica’s Pilates Studio. Contact Erica’s Pilates Studio at 847-224-6574 to learn more.