Exercise and Mental Health

Exercise has always been something that we all know will enhance our moods, not only because hey looking down at a rocking bod makes you happy but also it releases the magical endorphin’s in your brain that release that happy feeling.

Even if you feel terrible pre-workout somewhere between the sweatiness and panting you begin to feel like an absolute warrior or like Beyoncé post-concert depending on your playlist.

Your head space – this is something that always helps me no matter how upset, annoyed, frustrated or confused I am that LISS workout literally is like lying on my physicists couch, yet I am not spending a fortune and I am toning up (winnnnn), I use this forty five minutes to go through anything that’s on my mind and it is so effective, I finish my workout feeling like I have gotten somewhere (even on a stationary elliptical).

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Exercising also can make you feel better about yourself knowing you’re toning up or dropping a few kilos or raising the butt a few cm’s.

Mental health is something that we are more open about in this day and age its now acceptable to talk about it without being seen as crazy or attention seeking which is such a positive thing for those who suffer.

Last week was Suicide Prevention day in Australia and I touched on it in a post, I wanted to expand on that post today and the relevance that exercise has on mental health.

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I personally suffer with depression and anxiety, I have for years and it was very hard for me to overcome. I use to get down in a ‘funk’ for weeks at a time unable to be present in a moment, unable to enjoy anything; thankfully I have gotten help with this as it wasn’t a happy life that I was living, training was a huge part in the help that I had received, going to the gym focusing on me and becoming a better me really helped. This is not a quick fix post of the gym cured my depression because that is not true at all, but it did really aide in assisting the help I received, it helped me focus, it gave be a release for my emotion.

Nowadays I am a busy bee I work full time, train full time, I am a mother of a four year old (with some medical issues), a girlfriend and I run our household, it gets stressful, it gets overwhelming and it gets tiring, there are still days where my anxiety is up the wall and on these days I really have to focus.

I worry too much, I worry about my sons allergies, I worry about his friends in school and weather they will accidentally cause some cross contamination, I worry his teacher won’t pay attention or will panic if he begins to get sick, I worry that I neglect my relationships at home due to wanting to be the best in work and the best for my son that by the time I get home I have nothing left for my partner, I worry about my parents and their health, I worry about my partners health, I worry that  I am not there for those that need me, I worry that I will never have a social life, I worry about my fitness and not getting the correct time in,I worry about not being able to provide everything possible for my son, I worry about all these and more.

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Sometimes I worry and get upset, I have been told things like ‘I am making myself upset, sad or depressed’ by people that don’t understand, and I hope that this post will help in opening people’s eyes to the burden that is anxiety.

And worrying is 100% ridiculous and I know this! Worrying about all of these will not in any way help these situations, so on days where I feel like worrying I write down everything that I am grateful for like literally everything, every day and then I put on some upbeat loud music and train, and I always feel better.

I have learned to take things slower to be present in the moment more, not to stress about the pile of washing that needs to be done after a long day and focus on being silly with my son or having making plans with my partner.

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The last year I have come on so much living in a new country my anxiety was very high, I didn’t want to go anywhere at all without my partner, if I had to venture out without him I would be so stressed it was a nightmare.

This year I started a new job in the city, I get the bus in everyday (on my own) I go around the city by myself I meet hundreds of new people every month – I am sure this will sound stupid to anyone who doesn’t understand anxiety, but knowing how much this use to cripple me this is an amazing difference.

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I go on adventures every weekend with my son, I am not nervous, I am not anxious about what could happen or go wrong, now I am comfortable.

I believe that the boost in my self-confidence from exercising and eating well has really helped in my progression.

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So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious or down (obviously go to see a mental health professional) but also try and incorporate some exercise it will help release them magical endorphin’s, clear your mind as well as help to try boost your self-confidence.