Being physically healthy is clearly something that is hugely important for all of us, but when we are striving to be physically fit, it’s also important to remember that we should strive to be mentally fit too. Our mental health can often be forgotten because we are thinking so much about our physical needs, but the beauty of sport is that it can help our mental health without us even thinking about it. Here are some ways it works.
When you are involved in a physical activity such as sports, chemicals will be released into your brain that improves your mood – they make you feel more relaxed and a lot happier. This is particularly true with team sports, but even if you are playing by yourself you can still experience this ‘natural high,' and when you are done you will still feel good. This means you can achieve more and be more productive, and it also helps to put things into perspective in life, showing you that you can solve any problem that comes your way.
Not being able to concentrate in school or at work can have a seriously detrimental effect on our lives. It means we don’t do as well as we might otherwise, and we, therefore, miss out on opportunities that could have seen us achieve a great deal. When we play sports, our ability to concentrate improves. It has to, as otherwise, we won’t be able to play whichever game it is we have chosen (and it doesn’t matter which it is, as long as we’re playing something exciting and fun). Ideally, you need to participate in a sport around three to five times each week for 30 minutes at a time to see the benefits quickly.
Stress is a big problem in the modern world; we all work so hard and for so long that downtime and relaxation become difficult to achieve, and this all goes towards increasing our stress levels to a dangerous point. Stress raises blood pressure, causes ulcers, causes heart problems such as heart disease and even heart attacks, and can cause depression too. Playing sports can reduce the stress you are feeling.
Firstly, you are thinking only of the game you are playing, and any other worries are forgotten about, giving your brain a chance to reset itself and, when you finish your game, you can think about your problems from a different angle much more easily. Sports also produce hormones in your body which are natural stress relievers. These endorphins boost your mood as mentioned above, but they also reduce the number of stress hormones that you have, helping you to feel better. Finally, sports can stop you feeling lonely, which is stressful and bad for your mental health. Whether you are playing in a team or enjoying one of the Atlanta Super Bowl parties, being around other like-minded people will reduce your stress levels and give you someone to talk to. Even if you don’t discuss your problems, simply being around other people and talking about sports can be enough to help you feel a lot better.