It’s mental health awareness this week and this year’s theme is mental health and exercise. I have struggled with mental health for a while now, with an actual diagnosis last year. I have generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), which means I am always anxious, worried, and stressed about often very trivial things. I am restless, rarely relax and sometimes this affects my moods and disrupts my sleep.
I’ve found exercise to really help with my condition – helping me to clear my head, focus my mind and order my thoughts. Studies show that exercise is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.
In addition to the physiological benefits that exercise provides, I’ve also found it gives me a sense of achievement in my life and something to be proud of. This in itself lifts my spirit and helps me feel more confident in my daily life.
Don’t suffer in silence people! x