We’re all aware of the benefits that exercise has on our physical health. Better stamina, improved flexibility, stronger muscles and so on. But what if we told you that it can have an even greater impact on your mental and emotional well-being?
According to reliable sources, regular physical activity can have a huge positive impact on a person’s mental health. This includes lower stress levels, reduced anxiety, and an improved mood overall.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
Can physical exercise reduce my stress levels?
In the corporate world surrounded by high expectations, busy schedules and financial difficulties, there’s no denying that life can become stressful. There isn’t one easy solution to overcome this feeling, but it can certainly be managed.
Exercise is a type of “meditation in motion”. As your body moves and releases energy, it also emits those negative thoughts and stressful emotions. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a fast-paced game of soccer or several laps in the pool, you may find yourself forgetting the irritations that you encountered throughout the day.
The impact of exercise on your mood
Regular exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on our mood. A study asked people to rate their mood following periods of physical activity (e.g., going for a walk or playing sports) and periods of inactivity (watching television, reading, playing on the computer etc). Researchers discovered that after being physically active, participants felt more satisfied and calmer than after periods of inactivity. They also discovered that when their mood was originally low, the mental effect of physical activity was even greater.
How can exercise help depression and anxiety?
Although the links between depression, anxiety, and exercise aren’t entirely clear, physical activity can certainly help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety by:
- Releasing endorphins and other natural brain chemicals which might help improve your mood.
- Giving you more confidence as you will begin to achieve your personal goals and challenges.
- Taking your mind off any troubles. This can then break the loop of negative thoughts that contribute to those feelings of depression and / or anxiety.
Can physical exercise help me be more productive?
Not only is physical exercise a great mood booster, but it can also prevent fatigue and significantly increase your productivity levels. As it enhances your brain capacity, it can also help with brain fog and low energy.
At Awaken Harmony, we know that many people in the corporate and academic world are dealing with extreme amounts of stress and tension from their workload. Studies of office workers have revealed that sitting at a desk-based job for a long period of time correlates with lower work productivity and decreased mental well-being. As a result, Employers have been implementing ‘sit less, move more’ treatments such as exercise breaks during work hours. Yoga is also an excellent tool to help yourself or your employees improve focus, concentration, and brain efficiency. Not only is it the perfect exercise for reducing stress levels and improving productivity, but it can also help strengthen the immune system and therefore reduce illness-related absences!