Recently, I decided to take the medication route after struggling for a long time without professional help. Although it’s helped significantly manage my depression and anxiety, I don’t want to be forever dependent on pills – especially if there are natural ways of improving my mood. I decided to make a number of lifestyle changes but the game changer for me was working out. Below are just a few of the benefits I’ve experienced from exercising regularly:
1. Gives Me a Mental Time Out
When I workout, there is no extra time to dwell on bad thoughts and feelings because I’m so focused on the task at hand. If I’m deadlifting for example, I need to be there 100% mentally otherwise I’m going to hurt myself. I love working out for this reason the most – it gets me out of my head and focused on something completely outside of me that needs my full attention. It’s nice to have a break from all the anxious and negative thoughts I have.
2. Helps Me Sleep Better
With my mind racing at night, I would normally only get a few hours sleep; then have to do it all over again. Since I’ve been working out regularly, I sleep like a baby. I feel nice and worn out and as soon I get in bed, I knock out. In the mornings, I wake up feeling refreshed which is rare for me. I’ve had sleep issues my entire life and I’ve finally found a way to sleep well, naturally.
3. Boosts My Energy
On the opposite end of sleeping well, exercising also provides me with the energy that gets me through my day. Depression left me feeling lethargic and slow but since I’ve started lifting weights, I feel energetic throughout the day and tired at night – the way it’s supposed to be. Due to this newfound energy, my productivity levels have also been through the roof.
4. Eliminates Stress
When I feel stressed out and anxious, exercising not only gets my mind off things, but it also releases endorphins – natural feel-good hormones. I end up feeling much better than when I started because I’m more relaxed, happier and productive.
5. Improves My Self Confidence
I stand up straighter when I exercise, I just can’t help it. Working on my core and back muscles keep my shoulders back and with it comes a natural feeling of self confidence. When I make progress on my workout goals and have a new max rep, I just can’t help but feel proud and accomplished. My effort makes me feel better and looking great is just an added bonus.
6. It Just Makes Me Happy
Putting all of this together overall, just makes me a happier person. And it’s not just temporary like “runners high” and endorphins and all that; although that’s a part of it, it’s just a small part. Regular exercise makes me feel better in tons of different ways and I can always guarantee myself a better mood after a workout.
These are just six ways that exercising makes me feel better but I know there are more out there. How does exercise help you? If not working out, what makes you feel better? Leave me a comment!