You hear a lot about how good exercise is for your physical health. But did you know that exercise is also good for your emotional health? How can exercise be good for your emotions? And why is your emotional health an important factor in your overall health?
The brain is where our emotions originate from. The brain and its functions are so complex that much of how it does everything that it does, still remains a mystery to scientists.
Through scientific research and study, scientists have discovered that our emotions- how we feel is just one such complex function of the brain. Neurons in the brain, mixing with hormones (naturally produced by the body,) come together to form the basis of our emotions. When different hormones mix with neurons, various emotions are produced: happiness, contentment, sadness, empathy, anger and fear, to name just a few.
The hormone believed to be responsible for our feelings of happiness is known as an “endorphin.” The more endorphins we have in our bodies and reaching into our brains, the more content and happier we feel. “Endorphins” have also been found to be “stabilizers,” in that they can often reduce the ability of some hormones to come together with specific neurons, which when not impeded, results in the negative emotions we experience.
Exercise has been found to raise the level of endorphins in the body and when this reaches the neurons of the brain, we experience a lifting of the happiness and contentment we feel.
Exercise can also significantly reduce the bodies/brain’s reaction to an over-production of hormones that can lead to negative emotions such as stress, frustration, and anger. A good work-out, (one that makes you really sweat) is like the “control-valve” on a pressure cooker. Exercise allows you to “vent” the negative emotions that have been building inside of you. Maybe your blood is “boiling” because once again your boss has failed to notice your hard work and dedication, or the kids have been squabbling all day, or man’s supposed best-friend has chewed holes in your favorite chair. Exercise can be a cooling-gel for any of the heated emotions you are feeling.
Negative emotions left unchecked can lead to a host of aches, pains and even illnesses if you’re not proactive in reducing the level and the amount of time spent feeling negative emotions. So you see, our emotions have an impact, both negative and positive not just on our emotional health, but also our physical health.
Exercise can give our emotional health the boost it needs to deal with life. And let’s face it; life can be pretty rough at times can’t it? Why add to the rough stuff that life throws at us, by not keeping your mind and body in top-shape?
Are you feeling a bit down today? Grab your shoes and “walk-away-the blues.” That’s right, walking is just what you need to chase away the occasional case of the blah’s we’ve all experienced.
* Depression is a serious condition with a greater degree of sadness than just feeling “blue or sad” once in awhile. Talk with your doctor if you suspect depression or have been feeling really sad for more than 2 weeks. Depression is treatable and millions of people suffer from depression each year. Your doctor can prescribe medications and other treatments to help you with your depression. Exercise is likely to be one of the treatments recommended along with medications by your doctor. Exercise is a proven and powerful tool in the treatment of depression and other emotional disorders.
Remember that regular exercise for emotional and physical health equals Complete Health!