I was insanely struggling with my mental health to the point where during work I’d have 3 or 4 anxiety attacks on a 9-5 shift both exhausting and stressful. My depression and anxiety has pushed me into an overwhelming bundle of craziness that ensures I hate myself, feel extremely conscious of every different aspect of me compared to the gym fit gals that you see splattered over social media. This all started with my posture being “weird” that circulated the beginning of my journey. However here’s to improving mental and physical health with my continuing fitness journey.
When I was encouraged to go to the gym it began to change, I began to relax and ease myself into the movement, of course, it took several attempts to get to the gym alone and many a time I broke down on machines and decided to leave. I would cry in the car and ease myself out of anxiety-fueled breathing. It took me a few months and endless amounts of fitness videos to be able to stay for at least an hour. The more I watched videos and people within the gym the more I felt able to do exactly what they were doing while improving my weight and stance.
My confidence has soared and I’m beginning to love myself regardless of mental health. My brain has finally being able to pump the breaks and give me the ability to actually think straight without a mind numbing headache drumming constantly at the back of my eyes. My posture is improving and I’m gaining weight and muscle on every aspect of my body, so I can finally proudly say I’m not technically underweight (not that I believe those statistics.) And of course I can finally begin love myself.
Not only does exercise have positive physical benefits but as your body changes / improves you begin to feel good as well, you have positive reactions to how you look and as your energy levels rise your brain gives you a more get up and go attitude that supresses any negative thoughts you are so used to feeling throughout the day. Getting moving releases, a positive hormone throughout your body. Of course, physical exercise declutters your mind and gives you the opportunity to reflect and move away from your pains and worries.
1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year and is mainly responsible for 72 million working days lost. That’s numerous people suffering, hiding themselves and hours lost due to something that isn’t wildly talked about. Mental health issues aren’t widely understood and many of us will pretend and avoid it at all cost as we see it as “crazy”, “unstable” and “frightening”. As a society, we are trying to end the stigma of mental health and encourage others to seek help and support as we become increasingly worried about the rising suicide rates within the UK especially in young males.
Similar to meditation, repetitive physical activities can help you relax and potentially improve your mental health issues including depression and anxiety. Although it’s difficult to get yourself into exercise it’s increasingly notable that it will improve both physical and mental health.