Teenagers have a lot on their plates day in and day out. Between classes, homework, chores, and other extracurricular activities, many teens may think that adding another activity to what they may feel like is already a heavy load, may be stressful.
However, what many of them may not realize is that participating in sports can be an incredible way of reducing stress. Here’s how:
Sports Stimulate the Body’s Production of Endorphins
Physical activities such as sports stimulate the body’s production of chemicals that are responsible for the positive changes in an individual’s mood. These neurotransmitters are called endorphins, and at heightened levels, they cause a “feel-good” response. In fact, this rush is referred to as “runner’s high.” This feeling helps to release tension.
Sports Engagement Increases Self-Esteem
Improved self-esteem can dramatically reduce your overall levels of stress. Being a part of a team is an amazing way to build one’s self-esteem; when you are more confident in your own abilities you feel better about yourself.
Sports can improve your confidence when meeting goals that you have set for yourself. Sports promote individuals to feel positive about themselves. Through competition, they discover their own potential to do better and to hold themselves to a higher standard.
People who are active in sports generally have healthier bodies. For teens who are not happy with their self-image, having a body that is fit is great for self-confidence.
Sports Can Relieve Mental Stress by Promoting Better Sleep
Studies have shown that sports and exercise can decrease mild symptoms of depression and even improve the quality of sleep.
The quality of your sleep has been linked to your sense of well-being. The more sleep you get, the better you feel. Lack of sleep can be frustrating and lead to anxiety. The physical activity that is received from playing sports can help increase sleep duration.
Sports Participation Promotes Socialization
A great way of managing stress is through socializing. Socialization helps relieve stress by promoting the hormone oxytocin which promotes relaxation, thus reducing anxiety.
Playing a sport, mainly a team sport, gives you the opportunity to make new friends who share a common interest. Being around others who share a mutual goal motivates you. This motivation can significantly relieve anxiety and steer you away from depression.
Involvement in team sports has been associated with social acceptance which can be further nurtured through positive coaching and support from team members.