Your mental health and your physical health are deeply connected; you could even say that all aspects of health (mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional) are all intertwined. If one is bad, then the others will soon follow. That’s why it’s so important to keep them all up, and it’s so important to focus on yourself and give yourself the very best. Now, nearly everyone knows that exercising is an absolute must for physical health. Love it or hate it, you absolutely need it. While you don’t need to run or lift weights (granted, it’s very beneficial), what matters most is keeping yourself active.
With that said, have you considered the major benefits of working out? Sure, you get the bulging muscles and the six-pack abs, and you don’t need help with carrying jars, but this is honestly the tip of the iceberg. What’s really going to be beneficial is the mental health benefits that exercise brings. So here are some ways that exercising can vastly improve your mental health.
Some people will turn to unhealthy habits when it comes to dealing with stress, like eating, smoking, drinking, and so on. Exercising is considered to be a good way to relieve pent-up energy caused by stress. Stress can negatively impact your mental health in a number of ways, from anxiety and mood swings to trouble sleeping. While you might not be able to get rid of all sources of stress, exercise can help you better handle it.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that can improve your mood and help you feel better about yourself. This feeling of well-being is also a natural way to counteract feelings of stress and anxiety. Obviously, no one likes to deal with stress, and honestly, this might be one of the best ways to handle it.
Lack of sleep not only affects your physically, but chances are, you’ve noticed that it has affected you mentally as well. Have you ever been cranky from a lack of sleep? What about anxiety? Regular exercise is also linked to longer periods of deep, slow-wave sleep and lower levels of insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. However, the type of workout you choose and the time of day you exercise may make a difference.
Some people find it easier to fall asleep after a vigorous workout, while others prefer working out in the morning or closer to bedtime. It takes a little experimentation to figure out what works best for you. Just be sure to avoid high-intensity exercise too close to bedtime since it will raise your core temperature.
While incorporating things like semaglutide in your diet has been proven to help make you feel physically better (which means mentally you will, too), getting active actually has a similar approach. Getting your blood pumping releases those “feel good” endorphins that help alleviate negative emotions such as sadness, anxiety, and anger. It also boosts your serotonin levels and can help you to concentrate and feel alert. Sure, while maybe at first it takes a bit of time to get those endorphins (you’re tired, sore, and sticky from sweat), after a while, you’re going to ignore those negative aspects; you’ll only want to embrace the positives.
One thing that nearly everyone wants in their life is to have more confidence, right? A good exercise routine teaches you to be more self-sufficient. You will develop the ability to focus on your goals and overcome obstacles — which is a major boost to your self-esteem. Breaking into a sweat, even for a brief period, can lift your mood and reduce long-term feelings of anxiety and depression.
Even less intense exercises, like walking around the block or playing basketball, can also increase your self-esteem if done regularly. Just think about it; you got to see what your body is able to do. You got to experience your body being pushed to new levels, those endorphins are soaring, and your body is transforming for the better too.
Just as exercising has a positive way of managing stress, it can with anxiety too. For starters, you still need to keep in mind that stress can, at times, transform into anxiety, so the two are strongly linked. When you’re stressed, your mind tends to wander and think of negative things, which can lead to a panic attack or a bout of depression. Exercise is a great way to calm your thoughts and reduce anxiety because it occupies your mind with a different activity. Typically, something healthy like jogging can help, as it gets the heart rate up and then to the point where the muscles get relaxed. In a sense, this is going to help your mind relax too.