You might be surprised to learn that exercise can help improve your mental health. It’s true! In fact, research shows that physical activity can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression and improve overall well-being. That said, not all types of exercise are created equal when it comes to mental health benefits — here are seven reasons why:
It releases endorphins, your body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
Endorphins are one of the body’s natural painkillers, so it’s no surprise that exercise can help you feel better. They’re also a natural mood booster and stress reliever. Endorphins are released during exercise, which is why it may seem like you’ve gotten into a better mood after working out.
Endorphins have also been shown to suppress appetite—which means you’ll eat less while still feeling full after eating your favorite foods! So if your weight is an issue for you, take advantage of this added benefit by hitting up the gym regularly (and bringing along snacks).
It makes you feel more confident and less self-conscious.
Exercise can make you feel more confident and less self-conscious.
It’s true: exercise can help you feel better about yourself, even if you don’t look like the best version of yourself in the mirror. When we’re active and fit, we’re less likely to judge ourselves based on our appearance. We know that health is important, so we might not even care if our clothes aren’t “matching” or if there are a few extra pounds here or there—we just want to be healthy! And since exercise promotes mental health as well as physical health (which helps boost confidence), it becomes easier for us to accept ourselves physically without feeling embarrassed or ashamed about any imperfections that may exist within our bodies’ structure or appearance.
When people are depressed due to their own negative thoughts about themselves (e.g., “I’m fat,” “I’m ugly”), they often tend towards isolation from others because they don’t want anyone else seeing them being self-deprecating about themselves; however when someone begins exercising regularly through activities such as running around outside in public areas instead of staying inside where nobody knows them anyway then this type of behavior could clearly indicate someone who has gained confidence over time through working out regularly at home with no one else around except maybe one friend who doesn’t mind watching along side him while doing laps around town instead
It gives you a sense of control over your mind and body.
Exercise is a form of self-care. It can help you feel more in control of your own life and body, which makes it easier to deal with stress and anxiety. Exercise also has some positive effects on the brain, including improved blood flow to the brain and increased levels of serotonin (the “feel good” chemical).
This may sound like common sense—but there’s one thing that most people don’t realize about exercise: It helps us build up our ability to manage our thoughts by giving us a baseline for how much control we have over them. If we’re having trouble managing one particular thought or emotion, then working out regularly will give us more confidence that we can handle whatever comes next!
It helps relieve stress.
You may be surprised to learn that exercise can help you manage stress. Stress is a state of body and mind that affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives, but it’s not always easy to pinpoint what causes it.
In general terms, stress can affect your mental health by causing anxiety or depression—both of which have been linked to poor physical health outcomes such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Exercise has also been found to reduce feelings of fatigue and improve sleep quality for those suffering from chronic pain or anxiety disorders.
It takes you outside your head.
Everyone has those days where they just need to get out of their heads. Exercise can help you do that, because it takes you outside your head—and away from those negative thoughts and self-criticisms.
If you’re stuck in a stressful situation or if things feel overwhelming, exercise is a great way to get yourself back in control by helping reduce stress and anxiety levels. Exercise also helps us feel more positive about ourselves as human beings (and not just physically). When we take care of ourselves physically and mentally through exercise, we feel stronger mentally because we know that we have an ability to overcome obstacles and problems if necessary!
It can help you get better sleep.
Exercise can help you get better sleep, because it keeps your body energized and active.
If you’re having trouble sleeping after exercise, try some of these tips:
- Limit caffeine intake before bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases energy levels and may disrupt your ability to fall asleep when consumed in large amounts before bedtime. If this sounds familiar to you, then try reducing the amount of coffee or tea you drink before bedtime (or skipping them altogether). You can also reduce your caffeine intake during the day by switching from black tea to green tea or herbal teas instead of regular coffee; these contain less caffeine than regular coffee does but still provide a mild stimulant effect on alertness levels if taken regularly throughout the day.* Don’t skip meals immediately following exercise sessions that last longer than 30 minutes – this will cause stomach upset until it wears off later on when food has been digested properly again!
Exercise won’t solve all of your mental health problems, but it may help some of them.
As you know, exercise is great for your physical health. But it can also benefit mental health in a number of ways:
- Anxiety, depression, and other common mental disorders are linked to a lack of physical activity. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood in people with these conditions.
- Stress is another factor that often contributes to poor mental health outcomes—and exercise helps combat this by boosting levels of endorphins (the “feel-good” neurotransmitters produced when you exercise). In fact, some studies have found that people who get regular exercise experience fewer symptoms associated with anxiety and depression than those who don’t!
- Exercise improves sleep quality because it increases circulation through the body; this means more oxygen-rich blood flows through each organ making them work harder during restful periods throughout the night (which translates into better REM cycles). Plus if you’re not getting enough restful sleep then all those anxious thoughts will continue waking you up at night—not good!
If you’re looking for a way to relax, exercise might be a good place to start. It can help with anxiety, depression and stress—all of which are common in people with mental health problems. And even if you don’t have any issues with your brain, doing push-ups in the morning could make life better for everyone else around you! You don’t have to run marathons or join a gym; just find something that works well for your schedule or routine. Whether it’s running on some trails near home or going out dancing after work, know that whatever form of exercise works best for you could also help improve your mood and energy levels as well.