Your Physical Wellness Routine Could be Making you Mentally Healthier
We know that physical wellness is good for your body, but what can your active lifestyle do for your mental wellbeing?
With each passing year, it seems we have fewer hours in the day, and more to get done! We’re often left feeling anxious, stressed or even depressed – and it’s not even Easter yet… It’s no wonder, then, that most people are turning their focus to health and wellness in 2019. In fact, a recent survey by Forbes and Lululemon found that 71% of people want to achieve mind and body balance this year. Luckily, the two are intrinsically linked!We’ve all experienced those moments at work when we feel like we’ve hit a wall. Going for a quick walk has proven that employees who take time for exercise during the day are more productive and have more energy than their peers who stay stuck behind their desks all day. Along with the benefits of productivity and added energy, exercise and activity will help boost your self-confidence. Helping you tone up, get stronger and maintain a healthy weight, who wouldn’t feel better about themselves? In this way we realise that those physical benefits are also boosting your mental health. If you’ve ever suffered from anxiety, you’ll know that it’s not easy to make it go away. Most of the time people think they just must ride it out but, believe it or not, exercise is a natural anti-anxiety treatment! Physical activity helps to relax your muscles and release ‘feel-good’ hormones. Here’s a top anxiety fighting tip; focus on the sensation of your feet hitting the ground as you run, the movement of your arms through the water as you swim or listen to the sound of your breathing while you do yoga. Doing these things will increase the likelihood of your anxiety disappearing. In fact, it could even help your nervous system recover from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. We know how many people have researched the link between exercise and depression, and the study at Massachusetts General Hospital delivered the “strongest evidence” yet! 300,000 adults were looked at and it was found that just 15 minutes of brisk activity each day can reduce the risks of depression by about 26%. Depression, anxiety, and several influencing factors all could potentially lead someone down a path of addiction. We know that chemicals in drugs and alcohol release dopamine, the ‘reward chemical’. Stop! Because so does exercise. In order to de-prioritise cravings and help your brain recover and reboot, simply pop to the gym or go for a jog to help your body reset. It’s not just feeling calmer and more energized that you will have to look forward to, exercise helps your brain fight against the cognitive decline that begins after the age of 45. The same endorphins that make you feel good are also working hard to grow and improve your braincells, helping improve your memory skills and making you feel mentally stronger. All we want is to love ourselves; think exercise and think wellness! The rest will fall into place.