For decades, centuries in fact, mental health has been a taboo subject that very few people seem to want to talk about. Recently however, all of that has started to change. We are now living in a world where we’re finally realising that it is okay to talk about mental health, and have established that it is in fact okay, not to be okay. Mental health disorders can literally destroy lives, and while there are drugs and medications out there which are designed to help treat these disorders, more and more people are now opting for a more natural approach. Here’s a more detailed look at exercise and how it can be beneficial for our mental health and well-being.

Exercise is great for treating depression – Depression is a very serious mental health condition that has sadly claimed the lives of countless people in the past. Depression can make even the most trivial of tasks like waking up in a morning, seem like a huge ordeal. In extreme cases, depression can sadly result in suicidal thoughts and tendencies and it can result in people taking their own lives. Exercise is a fantastic treatment for depression for a number of reasons. It promotes a number of positive changes in the brain, allowing it to produce more endorphins and feel-good chemicals responsible for feelings of happiness and positivity. Not only that, it can also serve as a distraction from everyday life and can give you a purpose to wake up in a morning and do something productive.

Exercise beats stress – Stress is another very common mental health disorder that can often function as a precursor for more serious conditions such as depression. Life can be stressful at times, and while we all suffer with stress from time to time, sometimes chronic stress can lead to worse things. Exercise is a wonderful natural stress-buster as it has been found to suppress the production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone responsible for feelings of stress. What’s more, it also promotes the production and secretion of endorphins which make us feel happy and relaxed. Excessive exercise, however, can actually result in an increase in cortisol production in the body, which is the last thing you want, so be sure to get plenty of rest days, plenty of sleep, and don’t exercise for several hours at a time.

Exercise can boost self-confidence – Let’s face it, if our self-confidence is low and we feel unattractive and worthless, we feel pretty awful. Exercise is a great way of boosting your self-confidence for a number of reasons. To begin with, it promotes an increase in feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin, which improve our moods. Not only that, but as you exercise and begin to lose fat, tone up, and see improvements in your body, you will look better and as a result you will feel better about yourself too. Combine all of this together, and you have the perfect recipe for a self-confidence boost.