“The next time you are stuck in traffic or are experiencing some other type of stress, you might try to hold your face in a smile for a moment,” says Sarah D. Pressman, PhD, from the University of Kansas, a study author of research on the potential health benefits of smiling. Findings published in Psychological Science (2012; doi: 10.1177/0956797612445312.), the journal of the Association for Psychological Science, show that the act of smiling, independent of feelings of happiness, can reduce stress.
Mind-body movement professionals may want to suggest mindful exercise for their clients with arthritis, since research is showing that mind-body practices can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. A study published in the journal of the American College of Rheumatology, Arthritis Care & Research (2012; doi:10.1002/acr.21685), noted that one-third of U.S. adults aged 45 and older who have arthritis also experience anxiety or depression. In this population, anxiety is almost twice as common as depression.
The emerging field of yoga therapy is gaining more support from current research efforts. In the journal Medical Hypothesis ( 2012; doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2012.01.021), investigators from leading U.S. medical schools have proposed a theory to explain why yoga practice is beneficial for diverse medical conditions. This theory can serve as a basis for including yoga-based practices as a complementary therapy in prevention and treatment programs for a number of stress-related conditions.
When you feel unwell a lot of the time, it can be a challenge to take the healthy steps you know would benefit you. New studies suggest, however, that people with chronic diseases can better succeed at making healthy choices if they apply techniques to help them create happy feelings (positive affect) and to affirm their self-worth (self-affirmation).
Most personal trainers have come across a client who arrives at each session in a state of stress and disarray. If this is not dealt with appropriately, it can derail your programming plans. Here are some stress reduction strategies from fellow fitness professionals, courtesy of IDEA Answers on IDEA FitnessConnect.
newsletter_teaser: As you know, yoga, meditation and other mind-body practices provide many stress management benefits. Better skin might be the latest addition to that list. Your skin’s health can reflect the connection between your emotions and your body and how effectively you manage stress.
Women who joined a mind-body stress management program had better success becoming pregnant with in vitro fertilization (IVF) than those who did not join the program, according to a study published in Fertility and Sterility (2011; 95, 2269–73). Reduced fertility is associated with stress; however, it is unclear whether infertility causes stress or whether stress causes infertility.