Mental health problems are quite normal in humans in today’s busy world. However, this is not the main problem. The main problem is, knowing or unknowingly, ignoring and doing nothing against it. I’ll not exaggerate much, but you’re already aware that mental health is a serious issue even in youngsters today. It affects how we feel, think and act.
So what to do now?
Just hang on and stay with me here…
When people hear about the term workout, the only thing that comes in their mind is different types of gym exercises. Now let me tell you that ‘your body plays a much more important role in terms of your mental health than you would possibly think of.’ Both your mind and your body are linked in such a way that one cannot function well without the other.
Whenever you feel like you may have mental health problems like anxiety or depression, the one thing you would like to do is moving your body.
Many studies including this one suggest that exercising or doing any physical activity at least three times a week reduce the risk of mental health problems by 30%. According to ‘The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed‘ suggest that exercises can rapidly reduce depression, which is the most common cause of all mental health problems when done on a frequent basis.
This does not mean you have to hit yourself hard at the gym (unless you really want it to). There are many other ways by which you can move your body and refresh your mind.
Mental Health Workout Plan
Here are the following workout plans to improve your mental health:
- Walking (or Running)
Walking is the first thing that comes to my mind when I’m struggling with depression or mental health condition. A small 15-minute walk can be of great help. Walking alongside the trees in nature will freshen up your mind and allow entry of new thoughts.
Remember, a good walk (or run) should be effortless and enjoyable in the beginning, and later on, it can be enhanced as per needs. It lowers your stress level hormones and encourages positive thinking. Such a low-intensity aerobic exercise is the best way to start your journey towards mental peace.
- Do some basic stretches
When you stretch, even for 10 minutes, it will have numerous benefits to your mind as well as your body. It will improve your energy levels, refine body posture, increase blood circulation, reduce back pain, and will improvise your quality of sleep. For active people, it will boost their athletic performance, lower muscle tension, and decrease the risk of injuries.
Overall it will upgrade your mobility and flexibility, and the most impressive benefit is that the more flexible your physical body becomes, the more flexible your mind will be.
- Take a few minutes to Breathe
Breathing exercise provides an extremely simple, effective and convenient way to deal with mental health problems and relax your mind. There are different breathing exercises to try such as deep breathing, belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and few others. Now don’t get worried about all those names, there will be a separate article about various breathing techniques and their benefits.
Firstly, lay yourself down comfortably on a mat on the floor, sit straight, and close your eyes. Concentrate on how you breathe. Do you shallow breathe? Do you deep breathe?
I recommend doing a few deep breaths. Continue doing it regularly for at least 10 minutes.
Thus, by intentionally practicing mindful breathing techniques will relax your body and increase your immune system response. Make this part of your workout plan and see for yourself how it will address your mental health problems.
A 2007 study showed that those who include yoga in their day to day life have experienced a significant reduction in their stress levels, anxiety, depression and anger. Their moods improved from before to after the yoga classes. One of the best ways yoga help is it creates better mental health as it integrates mind and body connection. It helps you slow down and calm your mind.
Gyming is indeed one of the best practices to keep your body in shape. With patience and proper guidance, it will make sure you have a better physique. According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Ask any of your gym freak friends how well scheduled their workout is. Those who schedule and follow their workout plan weekly can also schedule and follow their other activities (such as work life, social life, family life, etc.).
Also, in reality, your mental health has a direct impact on your physical health. Good physical health helps to relieve your mental stress.
Technically, not a physical exercise, but rest is what you need. While exercise is vital for your health, it can also be an addiction. Let’s say when your gym schedule is in an hour and you feel very fatigued today as you were busy completing that office presentation last night, during such a time rest is the best option. Missing one day won’t hamper your physique much. Just don’t get too attached which may eventually affect you mentally.
Let it be exercise or any other thing, balance is key in life. Too much of anything is always damaging, so you have to figure out for yourself what and how much is right for you. Just because your friend exercises five times a week doesn’t mean that you also have to do it the same. One should maintain proper Rest and Recuperation into their routines.
Till now it’s pretty clear that moving your body should be first in your mental health workout plan. I suggest you follow at least one or two from the above mentioned. You can also include other physical activities such as cycling, swimming, skipping ropes, dancing, and whichever that involves the movement of your body.
Mental health is a sensitive matter and needs to be taken seriously. Just thinking and talking about it will not help, find workable solutions to it. Exercises have shown a positive impact. But if you still face with mental health problems, it is advisable to seek help from a qualified professional. Merely holding such problems inside you will worsen you mentally and physically. Be bold and have the courage to face them. Hope you lead a peaceful and happy life.