Is soccer a stress-relieving sport? We think so!
While professional athletes playing on the world stage may say otherwise, they're on a completely different playing field (literally!).
Away from the hustle and bustle of game day, the simple act of kicking around a ball with friends or practicing your shots on goal is hard to beat in terms of sheer contentment, pure relaxation.
In honor of Stress Awareness Month this April, we're exploring the uniquely carefree nature of soccer (which, on one end of the spectrum, is a highly competitive sport--but on another, more personal scale, is an escape like nothing else).
The universal "feel-good" nature of sports
First up, a universal benefit of playing sports: virtually all of them, in their simplest forms, are natural stress relievers!
Why is this? As it turns out, it's all in the science of how our minds and bodies work together. Physical activity, in general, helps facilitate the release of endorphins: hormones that lead us to feel better, no matter what we're doing (or whether we're succeeding at the day's practice session or not).
The release of these endorphins is free and as uncomplicated as can be--and doesn't depend on skill or other external factors. Just play, and you'll feel it!
Time with friends and family
Science aside, there's something undeniably positive (and calming) about spending time with people you love. Spending it on the field, doing what you love, even more so. The laughs you share along the way is more than enough to put you in good spirits and help you forget about anything you might have been worrying about home.
Your own natural hideaway
One of the other stress-relieving aspects of soccer lies in its ability to transport you to natural hideaways, green expanses where there's only one thing to do: play!
Since the color green, and the presence of natural plant life, have been shown to produce feelings of calmness and inspiration in those who spend time around it, the restorative nature of soccer at your favorite field should come as no surprise.
Finally, the simplest stress-reliever of all: instant gratification. There's something irresistibly fun, satisfying, and rewarding about making several shots on goal or succeeding in a game of keep-away with friends.
Many of us indulge in tasty treats when we're bored or stress out to get that same kind of instant gratification. But given the choice between food at home, or thrills on the field, we know which one we'd pick--any day!
What's your favorite stress-relieving feature of soccer? Let us know in the comments below!