From being a taboo to awareness, mental health has evolved a lot. In the past, if you talked about mental issues like anxiety, depression, or any kind of mental disorder, people would humiliate you. Because back then it wasn’t considered an illness. But now, with the decrease in the stigma around mental illness, people are taking it more seriously. They are recognizing the effects of it on their physical well-being, if not taken care of. For example, when you don’t sleep well, it is going to result in a lack of concentration and confusion. Same as when you’re stressed out, it wouldn’t be easy to go to bed.
So what you can do to improve your mental health. Well, you can try to socialize with people. I know it will be the last thing you want to do. But it is one of the effective solutions. Just be around the people you like and talk about the problems you’re facing. The other most practical solution is Exercising. Being physically active is such a mood lifter. Read on to find out how exercising helps and which exercises can be helpful.
Getting out of bed and doing some physical activities automatically pulls us out of the negative shell and uplifts our self-esteem. Promoting optimistic feelings in our works as an antidepressant. When we exercise, our body starts to release hormones like endorphin, dopamine, and serotonin resulting in happiness, good feelings, and a stress-free environment respectively. That’s the reason they are known as the Happy hormones.
Apart from mental health benefits, exercising improves physical health too. It makes your organ functioning and blood circulation better, minimizes the chances of getting numerous chronic diseases, enhances strength, flexibility, and balance of the body, improves bone health and adds years to your age so that you can relish the wonders of life.
1. Yoga and Meditation: Both of them have proven to be efficacious for mental health. In Yoga, there are relaxing poses (like child pose, and corpse pose) that calm our nerves, and active poses (like sun salutation, and warrior pose) stimulate our nervous system. Most importantly, the breathing techniques associated with yoga are so effective that you can see the results instantly.
You just have to breathe in and out and your worries will fade away. And Meditation enhances your mental stability and concentration power so that you can keep the destructive thoughts at bay. It increases your tolerance to any pain and helps you to fight any addiction.
2. Walking or running: Even if you don’t feel like doing anything, walking, jogging, or running are the simplest activities you can perform. Especially walking, it doesn’t even need any effort and encourages positive feelings in you. Take your phone and earphones and go out in nature for a soothing walk or jog.
This eco-therapy session is going to make your day, trust me. And when you start to enjoy this session, level up your journey by using a step counter (pedometer). That way, you can see your daily progress and keep on going.
3. Strength training: Strength training (either with weights or no weights) requires mindfulness and memory to perform any exercise accurately. This triggers our brain cells to work more fruitfully resulting in reversing age-related memory loss.
You also build stamina to fight the disturbing thoughts by working on your focalization. Hence, you’ll see a decrease in your stress and anxiety levels.
4. HIIT: High-intensity interval training is as productive for mental health as it is for physical health. It is done so fast that you wouldn’t have time for your worries. This workout helps in releasing a brain-boosting protein named BDNF.
An adequate increase in it can regulate your mood and work on cognitive functioning whereas a decrease in it leads to depression and disorders. Only a 15-minute HIIT workout session is enough to boost your mood and self-esteem. It might be the short break you need to think straight and work on yourself.
5. Cycling: Riding your bike is one of the relaxing things one can do. If you ever feel burdened, you should take a bike ride; let the wind blow your tensions away. This will do a drastic change in your thinking by making it clearer and help in taking better decisions. As the happy hormones kick in, your emotional state will improve too.
6. Fun activities: Everyone has at least one fun activity they enjoy. It could be dancing, singing, cooking, painting, gardening, etc. Do participate in them, even if you don’t want to. Start with a small assignment.
If you still love it then keep on doing it. It’s a good way to keep you busy and entertained. And, it will give you a sense of achievement uplifting your self-esteem and confidence, which is a good start.
7. Take a break: While dealing with mental health issues, it’s important to take it easy. You should admire the rest period if you’re thinking that being super busy will get you out of your troubles. It is wrong, completely wrong.
Too much of anything is hazardous. Track your daily activities and balance them out. Enjoy your favorite series, go on for vacation, be with family, and do whatever feels good.
• Start small: You don’t have to be strict about exercising right away. It’s not ideal to get into working out for hours. Start with realistic goals. The study says smaller goals are easier to achieve. Even a 10-15 minute workout is beneficial. Give yourself time and have patience.
• Fixed timing: It is best if you could manage to work out at the same time of the day. This way you’ll bring the most out of yourself and get things done more energetically. Plus working out at the same hours helps you lose more weight. And if you’re into weight gains then don’t shuffle out the routine. Change the intensity level and get the desired results.
• Eat well: You won’t realize the value of it until you face consequences. Eating healthy (and just the right amount) is very much important. Because what we eat has a direct impact on our health (physical and mental). Include enough proteins and carbs in your diet.
• Hydration: Never ever forget about hydration. Our body is made up of approximately 60% of water. Any reduction in the levels can cause fatigue, tension, headaches, a reduction in alertness, and much more.
• Don’t be harsh on yourself: It’s okay not to be okay. And remember, you aren’t alone. Everybody deals with stress and anxiety in their lives. Relax, work on your problems and get over them.
Both of them (physical wellness and mental wellness) are dependent on each other. Harmonizing them is the fundamental approach we should take to live a healthy life. Including exercises in your life is the foremost thing to do. There are various options to keep you physically active.
Try them and figure out what works out for you. Each one of them is going to benefit you by helping gain the confidence that you might have lost because of the mental disturbances. And you’ll see that over time you’ve gained the potential to deal with troubles.
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