It’s Monday, the motivation is non-existent and it feels like the gloomiest day of the year so far. The cause of this can be because of so many things and for so many people. For some it could be as simple as a change in the weather, debt level, struggling with studies, relationship challenges, unhappy at work or just unhappy in general with no idea why.
Most people understand the benefits that regular exercise and activity have on our physical health but most of us are less aware of the benefits it can provide for our mental health and wellbeing. Let’s have a look at why exercise is so beneficial to our mental health.
It reduces the feeling of stress
When you exercise you put stress on your body which produces cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that affects many different functions in your body. It can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation, and assist with memory formulation. Cortisol is also linked to stress and as you exercise more, your body becomes better at regulating cortisol meaning you will feel less stressed overall.
It boosts your mood and reduces anxiety
When you exercise your brain chemistry changes which releases a ‘feel good’ hormone called endorphins. These hormones are known to calm anxiety and lift your mood.
It increases your confidence and self-esteem
Feeling healthier and fitter as well as measuring and seeing improvement in your workout and achievements from exercise, whether it’s lifting more, running further or just that extra push up, all give your confidence a boost. By increasing your self-esteem you are more likely to manage stress better based on increased feelings of satisfaction with what you are achieving.
If you suffer from challenges with your sleeping then you will know how a bad night’s sleep can really impact on how you feel and function the following day. Not being able to fall asleep because you are worried about something or over thinking an aspect of your life is something we have all experienced at some stage in our lives. Exercising regularly is a great way to help stop your mind racing as you hit the pillow, with exercise having been proven to help you achieve much better sleep.
Having people around is good for our mental wellbeing. Exercising can be a very social activity, be that training with a friend or taking part in small group exercise sessions at the gym. This combination of exercise and interaction will help to lift your mood and improve both your physical and mental wellbeing,
Need to talk to someone? Call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or check out their website www.beyondblue.org.au.
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