Did you know that 1 in 4 people, at some point in their lives, will undergo a certain psychological disorder? Mental health issues are inevitable, especially with all the chaos and disarray that’s befallen our beautiful planet.
However, the good news is, you can engage yourself in an array of sporting activities that can help you handle and manage any psychological disorder that you might ail from. It’s understandable if you are hesitant to begin, and that’s why we have outlined how sports can help you deal with your mental health issues.
Boost your overall well-being
Your overall well-being revolves around both your physical, social, as well as your mental health states. Actively participating in sports can be an effective way of boosting your physical state by making use of every muscle in your body. Additionally, sports can give you a sense of purpose, satisfaction – especially when you win – optimism, confidence, and self-esteem – so, make sure that you are a winner at some point (though not a requirement).
Depending on your taste, personality, or even your social life, there’s a wide pool of sports that you can choose from; outdoor or indoors. These include:
- Water sports such as swimming or kayaking
- Ball sports
- Athletics – running or even jogging around the neighbourhood
- Field sports like tennis and hockey
- Skydiving for those who want some adrenaline punch!
- Martial arts
For avid sports enthusiasts, having the right equipment will help to make your sporting activities a walk in the park. This helpful guide from the guys behind https://theleftrough.com/best-golf-accessories/ will help you to pick the best golfing equipment ranging from golfing bags to training aids. The same will apply for those looking to participate in other sporting activities. Finding the right equipment will not only be fulfilling but will also allow you to participate in your sports with confidence.
Boost your cognitive functions
Did you know that participating in physical activities can help to lower the risk of experiencing serious illnesses? Some of these include Alzheimer’s and dementia, especially among older people. Participating in sports helps in increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which nourishes the brain cells and by this, keeping such deteriorating mental disorders at bay. Additionally, physical activities including meditation and yoga can greatly boost your memory, focus, and concentration levels.
Reduce depression and anxiety
Actively engaging in sports and exercise helps in the growth of the nerve cells of the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that keeps your moods in check. By taking part in some sporting activities, the cells of the hippocampus can be enhanced resulting in relief from depression. Unlike taking anti-depressants that can have some side effects, sports are safe and most probably the best at reducing depression and anxiety.
Additionally, low-intensity sports when done over a period of time can help in the release of feel-good hormones such as endorphins. These have been found to greatly reduce stress and depression. While it’s not easy not to worry over one thing or the other, it can be easy to manage and control the anxiety that creeps in with the worry.
Human beings are social by nature and being alone or isolated can itself create mental disorders like stress, anxiety, and depression. Participating in sports ensures that you’ll interact with people, with whom you can have fun, enjoy your time and even get to share all your worries. Imagine having a therapy session that you get to share, have fun, and is free! Sporting allows even the socially awkward people and minority groups to interact without any stigma or prejudice from society. Sports can be a great way to support your social state and help in dealing with any mental issues.
Sports and the natural environment
Most if not all sporting environments are well kept and tidy. It’s this kind of initiative that has helped to preserve our environment. There are also sporting organisations that have been instrumental in preserving our natural environment and taking part in nature conservation.
Additionally, sporting in green spaces or in natural environments where there’s a fresh supply of clean and unpolluted is not only healthy but promotes your mental well being.
You get to feel happy all day long
When you jog early in the morning, chances are that you will have an awesome mood all day long – well, not unless you get to work late and your boss ruins your moods (your lateness will be your own doing)! When you participate in sports, your body will release a ton of ‘feel-good’ or ‘happy’ hormones called endorphins. If a morning jog will keep you happy all day, imagine how much regular sports and exercising can make you feel.
You don’t have to have a lot of time in your hands to actively participate in sports. Just pick any from our list above that you can engage in either alone, with your buddy, or pet and you are good to go. However, remember sports alone cannot help with your mental health problems, engage in a healthy lifestyle including a well-balanced diet. In case you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.
Image credit: Freepik
James Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.