For a long time, I coped well with life and stress – or so I thought. Then I experienced several struggles and stressful scenarios in a row over a short period of time and found myself not coping so well. My saving grace and best therapy turned out to be my physical fitness! No matter if I was feeling anxious, angry, sad or even tired – being active is what kept my mental health strong. The benefits to exercise can be life-changing and not just through weight loss. These mental health benefits of being physically active shouldn’t be ignored:
Improves mood – Most of us head to the couch and tv when we’re in a bad mood to distract ourselves but if we took 30 to 45 minutes to do something active we would find ourselves feeling rejuvenated much quicker. Being active changes the levels of feel-good chemicals in our brains which improves our sense of well being. You also end up feeling much more accomplished than if you just sat on the couch!
Reduces stress – Instead of turning to the regular comforts to reduce stress such as alcohol or junk food, try a workout! You can stop negative thoughts in their tracks and focus your energy onto different tasks. You’ll have sweat out some of your stress and find yourself feeling more relaxed.
Increase self esteem – When you work towards a goal or a challenge, you feel alive and confident. Use working out as fuel for your self esteem by reaching goals and improving performance.
Cope with depression and anxiety – I really want to make people aware of how therapeutic being active can be, especially for depression and anxiety. By moving the body, we releases good brain chemicals increases body temperature and change the track of our minds. There’s a sense of purpose and value associated to the activity.
If you have found yourself turning to negative habits or not coping with daily struggles well, then trying adding some physical activity to your day – even a walk can help clear your mind if only for a brief time!