Have you been feeling sad, overly tired or more anxious than usual? Consider exercising instead of surfing the web or logging onto Facebook.
Over the past decade, scientists have been studying the impact exercise can have on lifting your mood and improving your mental health. They’ve found that exercise can help you feel both physically and emotionally better.
- Exercise relieves stress. It can reduce fatigue, improve alertness and enhance overall brain function.
- It releases endorphins. Endorphins are often known as your body’s natural pain relievers. These reduce pain and increase your feelings of euphoria and well-being.
- Exercise can reduce anxiety. Researchers have found that individuals who are physically active have lower rates of anxiety and depression than those with a sedentary lifestyle. A brisk walk can deliver several hours of relief.
- It helps control addiction. Exercise sparks dopamine production in your brain, which improves mood, motivation and feelings of wellness and attention. It rebuilds toxic damage to the brain while also reducing anxiety and depression and enhancing self-esteem.
- It inspires creativity. One great workout can boost creativity for up to two full hours.
Although studies have shown that exercise can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, it should never take the place of consultation with a mental health professional. If you are experiencing symptoms of major depression or generalized anxiety, consider talking with your doctor about adding exercise to your treatment plan.
For a confidential mental health or substance abuse screening, or for information about behavioral health programs, call Willowbrooke at Floyd
at 706.509.3500 or our 24-hour help line at 1.800.365.3548.