6 Ways Sports Combats Stress During A Divorce

stress during a divorce

How Sports Can Help Anyone Going Through A Stressful Period

Going through a divorce can drain the life out of you whether you have been married for two or twenty years. It can be one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life. It is normal to feel helpless and alone, but how you choose to deal with the effects of a separation will make the whole difference.

Most people turn to drugs or alcohol. However, these are only Band-Aid solutions. But that engaging in sports and exercises can help you get through a terrible divorce? This article explains how participating in games can help alleviate divorce-related stress.

1.    Boosting your self-esteem

An ugly divorce has the potential to strip you of your self-worth. Becoming physically active and being part of a team will boost your self-esteem. Feeling confident in your abilities will make you think highly of yourself. On the other hand, being inactive for an extended period will lead to self-loathing, which will eventually escalate to depression.

Those who exercise often are healthier and physically fit. You can take advantage of your divorce to get into shape. Losing a couple of pounds or getting rid of that beer belly will help improve your self-confidence. Body beast, a home fitness plan by champion bodybuilder Sagi Kalev is perfect for beginners looking to get into shape. You can check out Body Beast reviews for more information.

When you achieve the targets that you have set, it improves your self-confidence and makes you feel positive about yourself. Through competition, you can discover your own potential to achieve more and thus set higher standards for yourself.

2.    Improving your mood

Whether you engage in a solitary sport such as running or swimming or a group sport such as baseball or football, any form of physical activity stimulates the production of neurotransmitters referred to as endorphins. These brain chemicals are responsible for giving you the feeling referred to as “runner’s high.”

According to a 2008 study published in the journal “Cerebral Cortex,” elevated levels of endorphins bind with opioid receptors in the limbic and prefrontal areas of our brain thus causing the runner’s high feeling. These are the parts responsible for positively changing your mood. The feel-good response triggered by endorphins helps to decrease symptoms of stress and tension.

3.    Improving the quality of sleep

Divorce leads to stress which in turn interferes with your sleeping pattern. Lack of enough sleep leads to a vicious cycle since it adds on to your stress, making it even harder to shut your eyes the following night. Exercise helps to break the cycle in two ways:

It assists you in handling stress and makes you feel exhausted ensuring that you sleep quickly without having to toss and turn all night. Sleep also helps to improve your sense of well-being. You tend to feel better the more sleep you get.

4.    Increased socialization

Separating from your partner makes you feel lonely. But the loneliness is compounded when you decide to alienate yourself from friends and family. You need to be around people during these tough times. Socializing helps to relieve stress by stimulating the release of the oxytocin hormone which promotes relaxation.


Katz and Stefani


Engaging in a sport will give you an opportunity to socialize and make new friends. Being around people with whom you share a common interest will motivate you thus helping to reduce anxiety and depression. Interacting with other human beings will enable you to get rid of the negativity associated with stress and anxiety.

5.    Works as a distraction

Participating in sports and exercises helps to divert your attention. You will forget your pain albeit temporarily and focus your mind and energy on the recreational activity at hand. Whether you are paddling your kayak or swinging your bat, your attention will be on your body movements and not your usual stress points. This distraction will work like some form of meditation.

Celebrity actress Kaley Cuoco used horse riding and competitions as a distraction after going through a rough divorce. She then started working out and practicing yoga and now has rock-hard abs to show for it.

6.    Releases tension

According to the American Council on Exercise, working out reduces the electrical activities recorded in tensed muscles. Researchers have also noticed a reduction in hyperactivity and jitters among individuals after exercising. Participating in sports and exercises will help relax your blood vessels and reduce your blood pressure and heart rate, which are often associated with worry.


Your body responds to stressful situations through what is called the fight-or-flight response. That usually leads to a buildup of stress in the body. The best way to relieve this tension is to engage in exercises. The American Diabetes Association recommends participating in a sport such as bicycling or ballroom dancing.

In summary

Don’t just sit around and wallow in misery. Divorce is terrible, but you can get through it by choosing to be physically active. Participating in sports and exercises can lower your stress and anxiety, provoke socialization and help improve your self-esteem. However, take care not to over-exercise in the name of channeling your stress. It can put unnecessary burdens on your systems at a period when it needs all the resources available to manage your feelings.

Mike Jones discovered the benefits of sports for mind and body when trying to lose some pounds. He likes jogging in the morning to get a clear mind, and prefers going to the gym late at night to get a better night’s sleep. 

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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Guy Grinning is a blog for men facing divorce and dating after divorce. It's kind of like hanging out with your platonic female divorced friend and hearing her perspective on your divorce and your love life issues.

One Response to “6 Ways Sports Combats Stress During A Divorce”

  1. Jhoei

    Working out in a gym or engaging yourself into sports will really help you cope up stress after a divorce. It keeps your mind away from the pain caused by the divorce.


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