How to Combine Exercise and Mental Health
When you look up ways to improve your mental health, exercise tends to be at the top of the list. Why is that? The benefits of exercise on mental health have been extensively researched and documented, making fitness one of the best ways to naturally manage mental illness.
When you think about how exercise can benefit your mental health, it’s a good idea to first examine what ways you would like it to improve your well-being. Just like you set goals for your physical fitness, it can help to have benchmarks for your mental health and exercise as well.
How Exercise Improves Your Mental Health
While some therapists incorporate exercise into treatment for their clients, it is still largely overlooked or forgotten by people. Because our mental health all happens internally, it’s understandable that you focus more on how you feel inside than what you’re doing physically.
However, the benefits of exercise in therapy can include:
- • More stable moods.
- • Less anxiety.
- • Better sleep.
- • Reduced depression symptoms.
- • A healthy emotional outlet for stress, anger and anxiety.
- • Build exposure to triggering physical sensations like a racing heart.
Ways to Incorporate Exercise into Your Mental Health Self-Care
The first thing to do is identify your goals and fitness level. If you are a beginner, then you likely won’t want to sign up for a HIIT class right away. Instead, low-impact exercises like yoga and light cardio could be a good way to ease into fitness.
It’s also beneficial to ask yourself what your body feels during exercise. For example, you may find swimming to be freeing and enjoyable while jogging makes you feel overworked and exhausted. Follow your body’s messages, and focus on doing what feels good rather than what “looks like” exercise.
You should also collaborate with a therapist to discuss ways physical activity could benefit your mental health. Working out for 30 minutes a day could also become part of your depression or anxiety treatment; you may keep a mood journal that charts how you feel before and after exercise, as well as the impact your fitness has on the severity of your symptoms.
Learn How to Combine Exercise and Mental Health With the Professionals
Caring Heart Counseling believes that good mental health is a full body experience. No matter what your fitness level or personal background may be, you can discover how to build a lifestyle that promotes good feelings as much as it reduces bad ones.
Contact us today to learn more about our therapy in Black Hawk, CO, and surrounding areas. You can also message us with any questions or book a virtual session with one of our counselors.
Counseling for the LGBTQ Community in Denver, Colorado
As 2022 begins, many people find themselves resolving to do something new. However, it can be equally valuable to think about what not to do in the new year. While there is never a wrong time to change your life, the new year offers an inspiring starting point for us to make bigger changes and commit to new goals.
These five bad habits can help you enjoy a more peaceful, connected and rewarding 2022. If you think that getting over them is difficult, don’t worry. At Caring Heart Counseling, we’re always here to help you make meaningful changes in your life.
1. Overworking Yourself
No more skipping breaks, doing unpaid work or pushing yourself too hard. Your job should work for you just as much as you work for it; overworking may be a sign of perfectionism, anxiety or even an avoidance strategy for depression. Working too much can also cause serious health effects you don’t have to suffer. Rather than avoiding problems through your work, think about how a better balance could lead to a fuller life overall.
2. Giving in to Self-Doubt
Whether it’s not meeting new people or shutting down an idea, 2022 is the year to let go of self-doubt. Everyone feels insecure from time to time, but chronic self-doubt can keep you trapped somewhere you don’t want to be for years at a stretch. What ways is self-doubt stopping you from living the way you truly want?
3. Skipping Exercise
Exercise is great for mental health, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day to start. Make it a priority to move your body, connect with your environment and give yourself a break from screens. Routine exercise improves energy levels, can lower anxiety, ease depression, reduces stress and improves sleep, just to name a few benefits.
5. Delaying Your Own Happiness
How many times can you forgive someone only to get hurt again? A lot of us mistake forgiveness for new chances, but in reality, forgiveness is something we do for ourselves. Healing from trauma means letting go of hurt while asserting new boundaries that protect our emotional and mental well-being. If you have a tendency to let old friends, family and ex-partners into your life, only to wind up hurt again, this is the year to learn the blessing of healthy boundaries.
4. Giving People Too Many Chances
I’ll be happy when I have a better job. I’ll be happy when I find someone to be with. I’ll be happy when I finally move. While our goals can motivate us, they can also cause us to delay happiness and miss out on living in the here and now. Rather than putting happiness on a pedestal, consider learning mindfulness, practicing gratitude and finding contentment in the little things.
If you want to kickstart 2022 on a high note with a bit of help, Caring Heart Counseling is here for you. From making big changes to healing from the past, our skilled, compassionate counselors are eager to meet you. Please contact us today to schedule your next virtual therapy session.