Stress is one of the most common modern ailments. If steps aren’t taken to reduce stress, sufferers can suffer serious physical and emotional side effects.
While sports and fitness are great general stress relievers, squash is one of the best sports to combat stress. Here’s why.
Squash requires concentration
Squash is a very fast-paced game and so mental focus from start to finish is one of the sport’s imperatives.
Shifting your concentration from whatever stresses you to the game in hand is actually a form of mindfulness, of being in the moment. This corresponds with the mental state during meditation. If practised regularly, playing squash will reduce stress levels and in addition improve mental faculties. The result being you’re better equipped to process thoughts concerning those issues that stress you.
This new mental position is often a great way of finding alternative solutions to problems you’ve been grappling with too, perhaps that why inspiration is 99% perspiration.
Squash is sociable
As well as being a game played in pairs, most squash clubs through the UK run informal leagues. There are also a growing number of online communities that can pair you with players for one-off games and longer-term league fixtures.
Spending time socialising is a great stress reliever and having a regular arrangement with a playing partner is also bonding.
This simple by-product of squash helps build self-esteem and a sense of belonging both of which negate the negative feelings of isolation many experience while stressed.
Squash makes you active
Squash is a great all-round workout. Exercising by playing squash has a number of chemical effects on the body beyond calorie consumption and muscle building. The body releases endorphins and the brain generates serotonin that together create a real feel-good factor. This carries on long after the racket is returned, genuinely lifting the mood of the player.
Serotonin levels grow cumulatively, so the more you play the higher they stay – enhancing mood and coping levels.
Praise and Positivity
While each shot may not be your best, successive, games will eventually tune your technique and improvements in fitness levels and finesse will soon result. Likewise with those you play against.
Be sure to praise your opponents and congratulate yourself too whenever the opportunity arises. It may feel a little awkward at first but persevere… you’ll feel more comfortable, more worthy and in addition more happy in yourself.
The resulting resilience will create a virtual force field around you and may not change what causes you stress, but will certainly shift your attitude towards it.
Squash can be your Sanctuary from stress
Playing squash is the ultimate escape from the hectic working world and pressures from family.
Time on the court can be used to vent frustrations, to remove your headspace from stressful situations and even permit you behave as you might not otherwise (as long as the person you’re playing isn’t too averse to colourful language!)
Escaping to squash from stress can genuinely improve your physical and mental capacity to cope. It may also provide a healthy new perspective on what is bothering you, and may even result in a shift from ‘stressed to blessed’ as you reprioritise and reassess the root causes of your stress.
If you think squash is the sport for you, there are many ways to get involved and play locally. If you need any squash equipment – squash rackets, balls, bags, clothing, accessories – head to the squash department of our online store where you’ll find everything you need.