There is yet another study reporting the importance of exercise in managing stress levels. The report has been published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise suggesting that regular exercise can improve dress levels. However, to get a great improvement in stress levels, one has to follow such physical moves with a higher level of intrinsic motivation.
Study Finds Exercise With Higher Intrinsic Motivation Reduces stress
The study authors justify that intrinsic motivation relies on performing an act for pleasure or satisfaction instead of pursuing it for results or impacts. This also indicates the role of emotional interest in performing exercises to effectively reduce stress levels. Or simply the reduction of stress levels depends on the purpose of your everyday workout routine.
People usually follow regular exercises to build muscles, to lose weight, or for other health benefits. These all reasons are extrinsic motivators in exercising. Whereas if someone follows all these to satisfy himself, they become intrinsic motivators to cause a significant and positive impact on his emotional health. Or else, instead of regular exercise moves, one can practice dancing, aerobics, martial arts, weight lifting, HIIT sections to give him intrinsic pleasure.
846 young people between the age of 16-25 were involved in the study from Switzerland, and the study authors assessed their stress levels and physical activity to reach their conclusions. These assessments were continuously done for up to 10 months, and the reports indicated that the youngsters who enjoyed their physical activities had lower stress levels when compared to the others. The report also stated that exercise or other physical activity alone were not shown any link between stress and life satisfaction.
The lead of the researcher’s group, Silvia Meyer from the Department of Psychology at the University of Basel in Switzerland suggested that people with intrinsic motivation will have consistency in their mental health benefits, especially among youngsters. Dr. Mayor said that if exercise is intrinsically motivated, it can help people manage stress more effectively. She further added that it is more important for young people as the period of adolescence is more challenging, and people become more sensitive to stressful conditions.
When competition is taken into account instead of extrinsic motivation, it will bring more disappointment if the goals are not reached. However, as intrinsic motivation is pleasure bound, the person will not give importance to results to get disappointed if results are not reached. However, if extrinsic motivation is connected with a sense of failure, a negative perspective, the impact can be negative.
Dr. Meyer Said that the key ingredient that can drive positive feelings is intrinsic motivation. So, physical activity alone cannot avoid the decline in life dissatisfaction caused by stress.
Even though the research was done among youngsters, previous research suggests among any age group, exercises with intrinsic motivation can bring a significant decline in stress levels. As an instance, a study conducted in adults in Neuroscience Research clearly points out the impact of both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated movements on the brain are different. However, the intrinsically related movements have influenced the part of the brain where satisfaction and enjoyment are connected.