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  • Writer's pictureAprell Taylor

A Natural Mood Booster: Exercise

Exercise and movement can positively impact mental health by releasing endorphins, reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and boosting self-esteem. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine, even just a little bit, can make a big difference in your mental well-being.

It seems so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of a busy life, and when you try changing these habits and you find that it is an uphill battle. Many people spend most of their time sitting in front of a computer, scrolling through social media, or binge-watching our favorite shows. All of this sedentary behavior is negatively impacting your physical and mental health.

Somatic (body) movement focuses on developing body awareness and improving the mind-body connection through gentle movements and exercises that encourage deep relaxation and mindfulness. This practice can help relieve stress, improve posture, and increase overall physical and emotional well-being.

Why is Movement Important for Mental Health?

Movement is important for mental health because it can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, increase brain function, and boost self-esteem. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters, and can also provide a sense of accomplishment and control. Additionally, movement can help regulate sleep, which is crucial for mental health.

Movement is essential for maintaining good mental health. When you move your body, you release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Endorphins help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and they give us a sense of well-being. Additionally, movement can help to improve sleep, increase energy levels, and boost cognitive function.

The Impact of Somatic Practices on Mental Wellness:

Somatic practices, like yoga, tai chi, and dance, focus on the mind-body connection through movement, breath, and mindfulness. They can promote physical health, emotional well-being, and relaxation. These practices help you to dial down distractions and listen to your body, helping you feel grounded and present.

Research has shown that somatic practices can be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as assisting individuals who are addressing the physical effects of trauma. For example, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice found that practicing yoga can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Similarly, a 2018 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that a combination of yoga and cognitive-behavioral therapy can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

How to Incorporate Movement and Somatic Practices into Your Life:

Starting a new habit can be challenging, but if you focus on adding in one small change at a time, it can be easier than you might think. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

● Take a walk during your lunch break

● Attend a yoga or dance class

● Try tai chi or qigong

● Incorporate stretching into your morning routine

● Practice mindfulness meditation

Somatic practices are low cost, easily accessible ways anyone can use to promote mental wellness, and they are easy to incorporate into our daily routines. By making movement a priority, you can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve your overall sense of well-being. So, I invite you to get moving and prioritize your mental health!

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