Behavioral health is concerned with a person’s overall state of being. It looks into how people’s behaviors and choices affect their physical and emotional wellness. The way to deal with behavioral health concerns almost always comes in the form that appeals to mental health, such as cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy includes one-on-one sessions with therapists who willingly engage with the patient to process their emotions. This way, it becomes easier for people to overcome their behavioral health problems.
However, it is essential to shed light on the fact that solutions for behavioral health concerns not only come in the form that caters to the mind. On the contrary, physical activities do have effects on a person’s behavioral health – and they do a great deal of help in terms of improving a person’s mental state. Here are a few ways by how we can achieve this:
- Exercise Increases Your Happy Hormones
According to Michael Otto, a professor in Psychology at Boston University, the link between physical exercise and a person’s mood is strong. Within only five minutes of physical exercise, even just the moderate kind, there is an observable uplift in mood that a person can experience. It can even alleviate long-term depression.
According to studies, generally, active people are less depressed than inactive ones. People who were once active, but stopped, tend to be more depressed than those who continuously maintain exercising. Exercise also increases endorphins, a person’s happy hormones and decreases stress-inducing ones. It also stimulates the production of neurohormones which improve a person’s mood and thinking especially in moments when stressful events start to cloud the mind.
- Exercise Helps You Get Better Sleep
People who regularly do physical exercises have reported a decline in depressive symptoms, which allowed them to fall asleep faster. They also experienced enhancements in the quality of their sleep. According to Martina Mookadam, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, physical activities improve the tone of the muscles in a person’s airway. As such, it induces a deeper and rejuvenating sleep. A person’s body clock also gets back to its normal rhythm.
- Exercise Gives You A Good Way To Cope
Usually, people experiencing behavioral health disorders cope with their problems by drowning themselves in vices such as alcohol, cigarettes, and even drugs. Some tend to dwell on their problems deeper by the day, while some get dysfunctional and restricted. Instead of thinking that mental health problems are just going to slip away on their own, exercise gives another way to cope. It takes your mind off of the worries and lets you manage anxiety and depression in a way that still improves your health and overall well-being.
- Exercise Improves Your Brain Performance
Aside from strengthening your muscles, exercise also benefits your brain through stimulating physiological changes such as reducing insulin resistance and inflammation. Also, regular exercise encourages the reproduction and survival of new brain cells. Aside from this, various parts of the brain, particularly those regarding memory, get a boost. Note, however, that it takes around six months for a person to start realizing the benefits of exercise on the brain. So keep doing the exercise routine consistently to achieve betterment in brain functioning.
- Exercise Encourages You To Socialize
When you start doing physical activities in the gym, it is inevitable that you get to interact with other people. You will begin to meet people who can be your partners as you take on the journey of fitness and overall well-being. It is always good to do it with others as this increases your accountability and keeps you motivated. The strong support system that you will also be building in your daily workouts would provide you with solid foundations to help you overcome behavioral health disorders eventually.
So aside from weight control, regulated blood pressure, lower risk of diabetes, and improved energy states, there are more to regular exercise than just its physical benefits. It has a range of benefits when it comes to behavioral health. So the next time someone encourages you to get to the gym, take a brisk walk, or jog in the morning – go for it. You never know what wonders these exercise routines can do to your physical, mental, behavioral, and emotional well-being.