Whether it's coming from our New Year's Resolutions or well-intentioned suggestions from our loved ones to begin working out, we often overlook the world of benefits that come from a practice of regular exercising, particularly how much good it can do for our mental health!
Let's start with anxiety and depression. Many growing bodies of research continue to support the positive relationship between exercise and mental health. A regimen, or routine of regular physical activity is known to bring feelings of release and relief to those who experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. A routine of exercising often will boost mood, which we know brings relief to the physical and emotional symptoms that come with anxiety and depression. Physical activity endorses an increase in our feel good chemicals, also known as our endorphins! Whether it’s in a gym, in our living rooms, or bedrooms, exercise can be an great way to channel our feelings of sadness, anger, angst, irritation, and more!
Speaking of channeling energy and stress, exercise can also be a great way for us to take the load off the day, take our minds off the routine stressors we experience, and focus on the physical task we’re experiencing. Research shows that increasing our heart rate helps us, not only improve our cognition and mood, but also improve the quality of our thoughts, and interpretation of stressful situations and events.
Have you ever heard of exercise increasing confidence and self-esteem? Along with the physical benefits that come with exercise, there are also emotional benefits as well. Studies show that those who take part in physical exercise tend to show higher levels of self-esteem, self-worth and improved body image. In addition, the endurance and discipline that comes with completing an exercise, especially on days where we don't want to, will often lead us to feel more productive and successful!
Do you ever struggle with falling asleep, or staying asleep at night? Exercise can be another solution that will remedy this area. Exercise is shown not only to improve sleep quality, but have a calming effect on the mind, which helps our bodies surrender the day we’ve had, and allow ourselves some sleep! Our bodies absolutely need sleep, and if we want to function effectively throughout the day, this is certainly something worth your consideration!
Sometimes it can often be easier said than done, to initiate ourselves into a routine or commitment of working out, without really understanding the physical, emotional, and psychological benefits of it all! This blog summarizes four points. Exercise as a stress reliever, and self-esteem booster, a sleeping aid, and a tool that we can use to manage and alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety. No matter what setting your practice takes place in, and how long or short your practice is, consider utilizing a few minutes in your day, and week to squeeze in a feel-good exercise routine or program. We recognize implementing a new routine or change can be difficult so consider scheduling a free phone consultation today to begin your journey to wellness with one of therapists!
About the Writer
Emily Nunez is a current student Mental Health Counseling and Wellness student at
NYU Steinhardt. As a native New Yorker and member of the Latinx community she has a passion for social justice and values intercultural fluency and other multicultural issues. Her experience as wellness practitioner, and growing clinician, Emily places high value on compassionate and intentionally crafted dialogue, unpacking spiritual exploration/connection to self, and holding space in a way that honors a client in their entirety.
Our mission at Wellness Tree Counseling Services is to promote wellness through a culturally sensitive lens so that individuals, families and communities are encouraged to rise to their full potential and engage life in meaningful ways. To learn more about our services, please visit www.wellnesstreecounseling.com