We all know. Exercise can help us feel better. Be healthier. It’s what we’re supposed to be doing. Billions of dollars are spent every year trying to convince us to do it, and yet, here we sit.
There are huge connections between mental health and exercise, and they go both ways. Mental health struggles make exercise even more difficult than it already is. We’re being continuously mentally stimulated throughout the day, and most of us are under some long term, chronic stress. When we finally get some free time, the last thing we want to do is expend more energy. Depression can make it feel physically and mentally impossible to move. Anxiety can lead us to worry or feel unsafe exercising. Trauma can make physically existing in our bodies difficult to the point where we don’t want to activate them, because that brings more awareness to them. Negative experiences with exercise and movement throughout our lives (like bullying in gym class, injuries, etc.) can also make the process difficult, shame-filled, and generally revolting. So here we sit.
Exercise has also been shown to be one of the most effective methods for consistently boosting mood, and alleviating mental health symptoms. It can be even more effective than psychiatric medications for things like anxiety and depression. And it can help grow new brain cells, and help us stave off incurable brain diseases.
Interested in learning more? Here is a fascinating TEDtalk that is worth the watch.
The Brain Changing Benefits of Exercise
Want to exercise, but feeling like mental health stuff, or past negative experiences, are getting in the way? Want to find other ways to bring self-care and wellness into your life, with or without exercise? Make an appointment today.