Stress Management Blog

How Stretching Relieves Stress

How stretching relieves stress in everyday life is a topic that should be discussed often. It is a practice that should be employed often, too.

Animals know that stretching relieves stress. They may not know why, but they know that it does, and they use it for that purpose. Humans also know that stretching is a good means of stress relief, but seldom understand exactly how stretching relieves stress.

Mr. Bamboo Knew How Stretching Relieves Stress

I once worked with a college vice-president who was 62 years of age. He tried to convince the public that he was a relaxed “in-control” person, but behind the scenes, he knew little about stress relief. On one occasion, coming out of a meeting with his university’s budget committee, this vice-president exuded tension. His breathing was shallow. He was an emotional time bomb waiting to be detonated by the first student or teacher who stepped into his office.

As we walked up the sidewalk together, we saw Mr. Bamboo (not his real name). Mr. Bamboo had come from the same meeting, but now he was bent over a campus park bench at some distance from us. He was stretching leg muscles and arm muscles. As we approached, he bent over the bench from behind, stretching his back forward and backward. We stopped as we reached Mr. Bamboo. He gave us a big smile and said, “Stress relief.” He went back to his stretching, and we walked on, the vice president shaking his head.

Mr. Bamboo knew how stretching relieves stress. He knew that …

Once we know how stretching relieves stress, we can gain stress relief much more quickly, and save ourselves many detrimental effects of stress.