Written for Enliven Coaching
We all have days where something inside our brain is blocking any moment of pure joy, and telling us there’s something wrong when there really isn’t. Anxiety and depression are extremely real and they’re also rife in our society, despite the amazing place we live and beautiful people that surround us. And that’s why we need to give ourselves every chance we can against them.
The best device we can use against mental illness is a healthy lifestyle, including regular and enjoyable exercise and healthy eating habits. When our bodies are functioning at their best ability, the mind does too. The mind and body are in sync and when one is struggling, the other one follows so it’s imperative to our overall wellness to nourish and take care of both simultaneously.
Exercise and healthy eating habits improve our mental wellbeing in many ways but perhaps the greatest effect of exercise is on our self esteem and worth. It’s no secret that a healthy lifestyle makes us shinier on the outside, from tighter asses to clearer skin, when you’re looking after yourself it shows. A healthy exercise routine helps us to be happier in our own bodies as our appearances exude our lifestyles and health is beautiful. So when we’re happy with our appearances, our confidence and self worth skyrocket in comparison to when we’re unhappy in our own skin. In addition to this, our overall energy, cardiovascular health, sleep routines, strength, clarity of mind and libido increases and in turn, our ability to get shit done (including our partners)!
A sense of achievement does wonders for our happiness and mental state, so kicking goals in fitness and pushing new limits is so incredibly good for you. It leads to a heightened feeling of ability and will show in other aspects of life, especially your ambition in the work place. When your body really shows you what it’s capable of, you will take that with you in everything you do and are less inclined to shy away from challenges- let your boss bitch shine.
Exercise provides feelings of empowerment through smashing goals and increased esteem, however it also improves the chemicals and hormones effecting our brains, inevitably improving our mental health. Our bodies release endorphins when we exercise and they’ve been likened to substances such as morphine, increasing our feelings of happiness and euphoria. They also help to quash feelings of stress and improve our immune system, warding off disease. As you can see, exercise is quite literally like a drug so instead of going on a bender, just go for a run.
Finally, exercise is a platform for strengthening existing relationships and creating new ones. If you’re at the right gym you’re likely to feel a sense of community and support when you go to workout, creating great new relationships with these sweaty people you surround yourself with everyday. They want to see you succeed because they’re on the same journey alongside you. And your existing relationships will benefit too because when you’re mental wellbeing is in a good place, so too is your treatment of others and your relationships. The people that care about you are happier when your looking after yourself and you will be too.
Let’s get rid of the stigma around mental illness, as most people are subject to it at some point in life. Join us in kicking the saggy asses of depression and anxiety to the curb.