Work the Body, Heal the Mind
Exercise is an important activity many of us struggle to incorporate into our lives. While the physical benefits are obvious, the valuable mental ones may be overlooked. When you are looking for ways to cope with anxiety, stress, depression, and various difficult emotions, consider physical exercise.
Some other things can make exercising easier. One way to ensure that you keep up with working out regularly is to build it in to your routine. Many like to do it early in the morning or after work in the early evening. If it is consistent Monday through Thursday at the same time, then it will become natural for your body to be ready to exercise around that time.
There are a variety of activities that you can do for exercise. It is important to choose the one that you like the best, as it will keep you more interested and motivated for completing workouts. Some forms of exercise are done outside, which can help in calming your mind and allow you to increase your vitamin D, which helps ease depression. If the type of exercise you choose allows for it, play music that you like. You can associate positive music with exercising. It will also keep you motivated, establish a workout rhythm, and entertain you during your exercise. For some, it helps if they find a workout buddy. This partner can help you keep to your workout plan and make it a team accomplishment if they reach goals they have made. Making goals is important so you can guide your work out plan. What is it you want to get out of your exercise? If it is to reduce anxiety then maybe you could look into yoga, or if it is to relieve stress then maybe you could try kickboxing. Goals can not only motivate you but can also challenge you and add more value to the payoff when you accomplish them. Don’t forget to stretch and keep the tension released from coming back. Most importantly, drink water!
What it can do for you:
They don’t call it “blowing off steam” for no reason. Channeling that stress into physical exertion can take the tension away from your mind as well as that tension your body is holding. After your workout, you will probably find that your shoulders are more at ease than before.
Time to yourself
Exercise is also a good time for meditation. Many forms of exercise allow you to be independent and help you to balance your thoughts and emotions with your present sensory experience of the exercise. This balance between thought and present sensory experiences is an ideal space in which to grow and heal.
Not only will your body image improve, but your strength and endurance will too. You will enjoy reaping the rewards of goals met and taking pride in your achievements.
When you are aware of feeling physically healthy your mood may be more positive adding to a feeling of youth and confidence.
When you feel anxious, your body tenses and your mind can feel uneasy. Exercise can turn this around. Tension is relieved with exercise and the subsequent release of good feeling hormones called endorphins.
It is no secret that when you are tired you sleep better. Exercise a few hours before you go to bed so that you are not energized, but are relaxed, as you try to fall asleep. Studies show that having exercised during the day, people fall asleep more easily at bed time and get deeper sleep.
Increase in energy
While this may seem contradictory to the sleep benefit, this effect is a long-term effect. Studies show that over time, regularly exercising can increase energy levels for the waking day. Increase in energy can lead to a decrease in caffeine needs and that can help with mental health.
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