The Importance of Mental Health The Importance of Mental Health Mental health is defined by the World Health Organization as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
But exercise is also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more.
It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a difference.
No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better. What are the mental health benefits of exercise?
Exercise is not just about aerobic capacity and muscle size. Sure, exercise can improve your physical health and your physique, trim your waistline, improve your sex life, and even add years to your life. People who exercise regularly tend to do so because it gives them an enormous sense of well-being.
They feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives.
Exercise and depression Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication—but without the side-effects, of course. In addition to relieving depression symptoms, research also shows that maintaining an exercise schedule can prevent you from relapsing.
Exercise is a powerful depression fighter for several reasons.
Most importantly, it promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being.
It also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good. Finally, exercise can also serve as a distraction, allowing you to find some quiet time to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression. Exercise and anxiety Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment.
It relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins. Try to notice the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, for example, or the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of the wind on your skin.
Your muscles may be tense, especially in your face, neck, and shoulders, leaving you with back or neck pain, or painful headaches. You may feel a tightness in your chest, a pounding pulse, or muscle cramps.
You may also experience problems such as insomnia, heartburn, stomachache, diarrhea, or frequent urination. The worry and discomfort of all these physical symptoms can in turn lead to even more stress, creating a vicious cycle between your mind and body. Exercising is an effective way to break this cycle.
As well as releasing endorphins in the brain, physical activity helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body. Since the body and mind are so closely linked, when your body feels better so, too, will your mind.
Exercise and ADHD Exercising regularly is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADHD and improve concentration, motivation, memory, and mood.
Instead of thinking about other things, pay close attention to the physical sensations in your joints and muscles, even your insides as your body moves. Exercises that involve cross movement and that engage both arms and legs—such as walking especially in sandrunning, swimming, weight training, or dancing—are some of your best choices.
Outdoor activities like hiking, sailing, mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and skiing downhill and cross-country have also been shown to reduce the symptoms of PTSD. Other mental and emotional benefits of exercise Sharper memory and thinking. The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand.
Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline. Regular activity is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. When it becomes habit, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful.
Even short bursts of exercise in the morning or afternoon can help regulate your sleep patterns. If you prefer to exercise at night, relaxing exercises such as yoga or gentle stretching can help promote sleep.
Increasing your heart rate several times a week will give you more get-up-and-go.In response to the increasing scope of the problems associated with mental illness, along with improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, a number of states and the federal government have taken steps in recent years to improve access to mental illness services via mandated mental health benefits.
Mental Health and Learning Disability Home Page Other word lists Mental Health History Words The index on the left has yellow entries for . This law protects people who have physical and mental disabilities from discrimination in employment, government services and activities, public accommodations, public transportation, and.
mental health problems experiencing poverty, require engagement with this complexity. People experiencing poverty and mental health problems would benefit from a number of initiatives across the Addressing the mental health of children and adults with. Overview Promoting mental health and preventing mental and/or substance use disorders are fundamental to SAMHSA’s mission to reduce the impact of behavioral health conditions in .
Here are some of the most moving and illuminating essays published on BuzzFeed about mental illness, wellness, and the way our minds work.