I was one of those people who were allergic to exercise for many years. I actually thought it was just another form of self-punishment. I thought exercise was boring, painful and something I would avoid at all costs.
I also suffered from depression on and off for a long time. Do you think that is a coincidence? I would say NOT.
Since I first introduced regular exercise into my life a few years ago, I have become so much happier and healthier as a result. I no longer feel punished when I exercise, in fact, I see it as a form of self-love. I love how positively exercise has impacted not only my physical health but also my mental health.
- Dopamine is released into your body when you exercise, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is necessary for feelings of happiness. Many studies have shown that as we get older our levels of dopamine drop so moving our bodies will help to restore it. So get moving and get happy.
- Exercise reduces stress. When you are exercising your body actually gets into a state of slight stress by raising your heart rate and triggering a burst of hormonal changes. So when you subject your body to the slight stress of exercise it will be better at handling life’s other stresses. So get moving and get rid of your stress!
- Exercise will energise you. Some days you just cannot be bothered exercising, but when you do, you will notice that your energy will increase and quite dramatically too. Thus leaving you feeling much happier than if you were to give in to your couch. So get off the couch and get active!
- Exercise will boost your confidence. When you feel really negative about your body it will have an impact on every area of your life including your relationships and your general mood. When you get moving you will really start to notice your body becoming stronger and it will help you to start feeling more confident in your body AND mind. When you have a boost in confidence you will have a boost in your happiness.
- Exercise will help ease any anxiety. When you exercise, the immediate boost in your mood is followed by long-term relief similar to that offered in meditation.
- Exercise will help you sleep better. Have you ever noticed how much sleep deprivation has a negative impact on your mood? It can really make you feel grumpy and sad. Exercise will help you sleep better and that can only make you feel happier in the long term.
So the next time you are feeling down and stressed, get off the couch and move your body in a way that feels good and brings some more happiness to your life. It literally changed my life. And it is a major happiness tool I have in my life. I cannot imagine life without regular exercise.
P.S. Find an exercise you LOVE and you will WANT to keep doing it.