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Mind Over Matter: The Truth About Exercise & Alleviating Stress

The reality of the Western world is that we have created a culture where stress is part of our everyday lives. The question is not whether we experience stress or don't, but how we choose to manage stress.

Living in New York City, we are no strangers to stress, anxiety, and a rather intense lifestyle. Having the ability to remain grounded and present in the city is a superpower. If you struggle to find a balance between effort and ease when it comes to living in the city, you’re not alone.

We know that stress and anxiety can take a massive toll on our health. What’s even more interesting, is that studies have shown those who experience anxiety tend to be more sedentary in their everyday life than those who are not (Harvard, 2019). This is important because moving your body is one of the most important things we can do to help alleviate anxiety and stress.

If you’re currently in a place where you want to create a lifestyle with more balance, less stress and a healthier foundation, we’ve put together a guide on how to ease yourself into a lifestyle that helps keep you accountable to your wellness routine to promote stress relief.

You deserve to feel a life with less stress and more ease. You deserve to show up in your life with grace and flow. Creating a life with less stress creates more room for creativity. New York is calling on your creativity, and quite frankly, we are too. A creative existence is an exciting one, and we can’t wait to see what you can create from a rested lifestyle with less stress.

Discover four effective strategies to build a routine that not only holds you accountable but also alleviates stress. Dive into the details below!

1. Choose a Grounding Modality

If you’re running from place to place, transferring trains, and prefer to cultivate stillness as a way to alleviate stress, we've got the perfect places for you.

Humming Puppy is a unique yoga studio that is like no other. They help you regulate the nervous system and provide an incredibly grounding environment through their custom soundscape. The ‘Hum’ was custom-designed to mimic the sound vibrations of the Earth. 

Humming Puppy is a yoga and sound studio that helps combine the two modalities to calm the nervous system through these two practices. The resonance of their Hum will help calm the nervous system, and combined with the ancient ritual of yoga asana, you can be sure to leave class feeling serene and renewed.

2. Exercise Outdoors

Exercising outdoors can help alleviate stress and ease anxiety (National Fitness Campaign, 2023). Fresh air, natural sunlight, and surrounding yourself with new outdoor scenery can have a positive effect on mood and outlook. 

Not only does exercise reduce stress, increase mindfulness, and improve your mood, but it can also help improve your sleep. Exposure to natural light during the day can help regulate your circadian rhythm, which makes it way easier for you to fall asleep at night.

If you’re looking for an outdoor workout in the city, join Bombshell Pilates every Monday at 7pm this summer for their Golden Hour Pilates on the Moore Hotel Rooftop for a perfect opportunity to get outside and move your body. Pilates is a great, low-impact exercise that helps build strength and increase mobility.

3. Workout with a Friend [Added Benefit of Social Support & Accountability]

Most of us need a little accountability when it comes to staying motivated. Studies have shown that humans have major biological and cultural incentives to avoid exercise (Business Insider, 2019). Historically, it was important for our survival to avoid expending unnecessary energy, however, we’re obviously not living in a time where that’s true anymore.

Working out with a friend can give you the added benefit of social support and keep you accountable for your workout routine. As a species that is neurobiologically hardwired for connection, working out with a friend can give you that extra boost when you’re feeling run-down and stressed from the city’s electricity.

4. Get Your Heart Rate Up

Getting your heart rate up can quite literally change your brain chemistry. Studies have shown that exercise that increases heart rate can increase neurochemicals that encourage less stress and anxiety in the brain (Harvard, 2019). 

If you’re looking to shake off any residual stressors from the week, check out joyflow. Joyflow blends yoga, somatic release, and ecstatic dance into a playful movement practice to help you connect with your body and feel free. Explore the wisdom of your body through this unique blend created and led by Sarah Joy Gaines. A perfect way to increase your heart rate, release neurochemicals to keep the brain and body happy, and feel deeply into what the soul needs.

Creating a manageable and accountable routine is more than just organizing your day; it's about fostering a lifestyle that aligns with your goals and well-being. By incorporating small, consistent habits, you can gradually rewire your brain to handle stress more effectively and maintain a sense of control over your life. Remember, the key is to start simple, stay flexible, and be patient with yourself. As you build these habits into your daily routine, you’ll find that not only do you achieve more, but you also create a foundation for lasting mental and emotional resilience. Embrace the journey of routine-building as a powerful tool to reduce stress and enhance your overall quality of life.

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