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How Exercise Can Boost your Mental Health

You’re reading How Exercise Can Boost your Mental Health, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

In an age where pharmaceutical drugs dominate television advertisements (the average US television viewer sees nine pharmaceutical ads per day (C. Lee Ventola, 2011)), it’s not surprising that the overwhelming majority of the population are looking for quick fixes to often complex problems. After all, there’s a pill for almost anything these days. But one of the most time-tested and effective mental health boosters is completely under-utilized and under-prescribed – exercise.

The Connection Between Exercise and Mental Health

Do a simple Pubmed search on the link between exercise and mental health, and you’ll find more relevant articles than you can count. Coincidence? No way. Researchers as far back as the 1930’s identified strong relationships between amounts and types of physical exercise used in treatments, and the positive mental effects they had on those patients (Davis, 1930). Since then, countless studies have been performed, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. A comprehensive study from 1985 found that “physical activity and exercise probably alleviate some symptoms associated with mild to moderate depression. The evidence also suggests that physical activity and exercise might provide a beneficial adjunct for alcoholism and substance abuse programs; improve self-image, social skills, and cognitive functioning; reduce the symptoms of anxiety…” (Taylor, 1985). These benefits are known worldwide as well, with groups such as Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) stating that “Exercise appears most effective for depressive disorders and may also improve mental well-being and physical health in individuals with serious mental disorders” (Morgan, 2013); while a Chinese study from 1997 on college and middle-school students found that “physical exercises were helpful to reduce students’ tension, anger, fatigue, depression and confusion, and improve their vigor and self-esteem” (Biyan, 1997) . These are just a few of what are thousands of reports of the positive effects of physical exercise on mental health. The relationship is not limited by nationality, age or time-period – it’s abundantly clear that physical exercise boosts mental health.

The Disconnect

So why, with all the knowledge we have on this physical-mental link, do we still first reach for the anti-depressant pills, and not our running shoes?  The answers are beyond the scope of this article, but most certainly include the billions of dollars of annual advertising spent by Big Pharma; our ever-increasing need for instant gratification; and (perhaps most unfortunately), our ever-increasing lethargy underpinned by our growing worldwide obesity rates. So, where to from here?

Re-Connecting

The first step towards using exercise as an adjunct to an overall healthy mental state is to acknowledge that there is a clear link between exercise and mental health, and that you are responsible for self-medicating with the powerful drug of movement. At its’ most basic level – getting up and moving around will give you a more positive outlook on life, and moderate some symptoms of depression, anxiety, addiction and cognitive impairment. So, just get up and move. Taking this to another level, if you want to make a significant and lasting change by using exercise to improve your mental health, there are countless websites dedicated to helping individuals improve their physical health. Many of these are free, and provide detailed workouts, meal plans, tracking tools and guidance to help you stay on track. Here are some quick and easy recommendations to get you started: Walk More No matter how busy you are, there are quick and easy ways you can get more movement in to your daily routine. Set a timer every hour to get out of your chair and walk around the office or your home. Try parking another hundred yards from your workplace or the store. Walk your children to school if time and distance permits. Get a pedometer or activity tracker and try to reach a goal of 10,000 steps per day. If your fitness level is low, don’t get hung up on numbers – just try to move around more! Lift More Resistance training is one of the most beneficial physical exercises a human being can do – particularly one that utilizes multiple muscle groups and body parts. When most people think of weight training, they picture powerlifters or bodybuilders moving huge weights around a gym, but in reality, any resistance to your body can make a positive impact on not only your mental health, but your physical health as well. For beginners, air squats, push-ups against a wall and lying leg lifts might be enough to get excellent results. For the more physically-experienced, a weight-training regimen of three to five days per week alternating muscle groups will be more effective. Join a Class One of the best ways to continue with physical exercise is to be accountable to a group – whether at a gym, social club or even with work or family members. A great way to achieve this is to join an organized fitness class – it could be aerobics, swim, senior fitness, CrossFit or anything in between. The important thing here is that you get some level of physical exertion.

What to Expect

In the world of instant gratification that we seem to be a part of, it’s unrealistic to expect that walking a few minutes a day will alleviate all your mental health concerns. In that same vain, please don’t take this article as a prescription to drop your medication, counseling, dieting or other treatments and just do some form of physical exercise. What we’re encouraging here, is adding some level of physical exertion to your daily routine as a supplement to your treatments. The goal is most certainly to be symptom and treatment-free, but don’t expect exercise to be your cure-all. Here are some things you can expect, and in a fairly short period of time: – Improved mental clarity
– Higher self-esteem levels
– Improved cardiovascular capacity
– More restful sleep at night
– Lower anxiety levels
– A better sense of purpose These should be the goals of anyone looking to improve their mental health, and with decades of published research on the topic, it seems to be a no-brainer that you should incorporate some physical exercise in your daily routine.  


James Anthony is the manager of Protein King – an online fitness, health, supplement and apparel store dedicated to improving the lives of everyday people. Based in Australia, James writes extensively on the topics of diet, nutrition, sports supplements and fitness, and in his time working with Protein King, has been rewarded with many inspiring stories of change and empowerment. References Biyan et al. (1997). The Mental Health of College and Middle-School Students in Shanghai And Its Relationship With Physical Exercises. Psychological Science, 1.

  1. Lee Ventola, M. (2011, Oct). Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising: Therapeutic or Toxic? Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 36(10), 669-674; 681-684.

Davis, J. E. (1930, August). Mental Health Objectives in Physical Education. Occupational Therapy & Rehabilitation, 9(4), 231-238. Morgan et al. (2013, August). Exercise and Mental Health: An Exercise and Sports Science Australia Commissioned Review. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 16(4), 64-73. Taylor et al. (1985, March-April). The Relation of Physical Activity and Exercise to Mental Health. Public Health Reports, 195-202.

You’ve read How Exercise Can Boost your Mental Health, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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About Darren Webb

Hello & Welcome to my blog. My name is Darren Webb and i'm on a magical successful journey and also helping others have a more stress free relaxed life. I truly hope that you find a lot of useful information on my blog and that it helps you through your life. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

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4 Ways to Eliminate the Fear of Failure

You're reading 4 Ways to Eliminate the Fear of Failure, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

The fear of failure is something that all of us encounter at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, that is just the way we are programmed as humans.

On the other hand there are many different ways that you can help eliminate the fear of failure today, tomorrow and beyond.

It starts with one thing. You!

That might seem like an easy thing to do, but it isn’t. What I’ve done is broken down 4 of the Most important things you can do Today, that will help you eliminate the fear of failure.

Clear Mindset toward Your Goals

Here is something that we might not think of as extremely important, but it is.

Think of it this way, the Fear of Failure is all psychology, we start thinking about the things that we want to achieve, then our minds start fighting back. That is just the way things work, and again how we are wired.

When you go into things thinking about one thing and one thing only, your Goals, then you are already taking a very crucial step into not being afraid to fail. Your goals must be very specific and most importantly attainable.

When you put these things together you are setting yourself up for success. Mindset is always the first step to anything big, especially when it comes to better yourself overall.

Having the Right Idea of Failure

Here is a tricky one.

You might be thinking,

Why would knowing what failure is help me not fear it?

Well,

Knowing what failure is to your helps create a better understanding to what you are dealing with. Failure is different to every individual person.

For example, my biggest idea of failure is letting people down. Whereas you might be afraid not to land a job, or finish school or get that big promotion. Failure is a HUGE thing in our lives, and we are burdened each and every day with it.

Knowing what failure is to you, will help you have the right approach when combating it.

Accepting that Failure is a part of the “Process”

Now if you are anything like me, you are always working ten steps ahead of everyone else. Which that is great and all, but you will encounter failure in one form or another.

The kicker here is that you don’t have to sit there and expect failure, but you have to simply understand it is a part of the process of life. Whether you are looking to start your own business, do better as a parent, find your own motivation  or whatever the case may be, you have to accept failure.

It is natural to fear something that is inevitable, which is one of the biggest reasons why we always are discouraged when failure does hit. However, if we are heading into Life’s ventures knowing that at some point we are going to face failure, then when that time comes its easier.

Having the Right Support System

Here is the most important of these 4 ways to Eliminate the Fear of Failure, having the right Support System.

Now,

This doesn’t always have to mean having 1 person to lean on when things get rough. First and foremost you have to be able to support yourself through everything that happens in life and success. Failure is again going to happen.

You might have that one person who is there and always has believed in you no matter what, or you may have yourself.

Whatever the case may be, you must be able to count on that one person to be there when failure hits. Knowing that someone has your back, will ease your mind and oftentimes you won’t even think about the failures anymore.

Regardless,

Support is the biggest deterrent in any sort of fear based system. Once again, this is all about psychology, and if our minds aren’t thinking about failure, or don’t have to worry if failure happens, then we live our lives in a much better light.


Dustin Meyer, Editor and Writer for The Evolutionary Mind. I have
a strict passion for expressing realistic ways to help as many people as I
can, and Pride myself in the writing that I do. I'm a new Father of a
beautiful little Girl, and 2 Step Sons. Along with writing, I'm extremely
passionate about my family and bettering our lifestyle along with others
through writing, video, and branding.

You've read 4 Ways to Eliminate the Fear of Failure, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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7 Ways to be a Positive Person

You're reading 7 Ways to be a Positive Person, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Want seven easy fixes to become a positive person? Few people are willing to go on a spiritual journey to become a positive person because at times it seems like a tremendous amount of work. Inspired by Jim Carrey who spent years on his spiritual journey, why not learn what he has to teach and save yourself years of searching? Here are the seven ways to be a positive person. (You need all seven to be a truly positive person, but point 1 and point 7 are the most important.)

1 – Gratitude Is Your Most Neglected Tool

Want to be positive all the time? Learn how to be grateful. People who are grateful are positive almost semi-continuously because they appreciate what they have. They appreciate the fact they can draw breath without pain, that they can eat, that people love them, and that they have the capacity to think and grow.

Ingratitude is actually the source of most misery in the world. People would not steal if they were grateful what what they had earned, and people would not cheat on their spouses if they were grateful for their love. It is very difficult to remain positive if you are miserable, and misery is caused by ingratitude.

2 – Don’t Make A Point Of Being Positive, But Make A Point Of Pulling Yourself Out Of Being Negative

They say the best way to spot a liar is to look for signs a person is telling the truth rather than trying to look for signs that the person is lying. Take a similar back-to-front approach when it comes to being positive. Pull yourself out of a negative funk rather than trying to be positive all the time.

Both Sean Stephenson and Tony Robbins say that they overcame their darkest days by allowing themselves to feel sad and negative, but not allowing themselves to stay in that position.

3 – Ask Yourself What You Have Learned From Every Event

It is difficult pulling yourself out of a negative funk. You may not feel like plastering your face with a fake smile or looking on the bright side. If that is the case, it is time to get intellectual about the situation and ask yourself what you can learn from recent events. What you learn may not help you in the future, but it certainly will not hurt you. Force yourself to learn from what has just happened, even if all that you learn is that life tries to trip you from time-to-time.

4 – Believe But Verify Rather Than Being A Tireless Skeptic

Part of being positive is learning to look on the bright side, but the world is a harsh and dangerous place where looking on the bright side may leave you in danger. We are skeptical by nature because our minds are looking for danger. Instead of losing your skepticism, you need to believe but verify.

If your daughter says she is going to sleep at her friends all night, then believe her and send her on her way, but verify what she said either beforehand, or after. Don't forget that you can verify after an event, and you can do it casually. For example, you may see your daughter’s friend when she drops her daughter off at school, where you can walk over, say hi, and say, “I hope my girl wasn’t too much of a pest when she slept over at yours on Saturday.

5 – Pray To A Creator

Follow a religion if you wish, or pray to whatever it is you think created our universe. Pray with nothing more than a thank you for your existence. Don't treat your prayers like a Christmas wish list, simply pray by saying thank you and maybe list the things you are specifically thankful for.

Before god haters start ripping this article apart on the comments section, this point is not pushing any sort of religion, you can make your own religion up if you wish, and the creator you choose can simply be an entity that humans are unable to define.

How does praying to a creator help make you a more positive person? Not only do you receive a divine sense of unexplainable warmth, you also take the focus off you and your problems and turn your attention to “Life.”

6 – A Slap On The Wrist Whenever You Do Not Look On The Bright Side

Some people are negative by default. They always look on the nasty and dark side because that is what they are used to. The idea of being optimistic appears girly, silly, weak, or childish. If you find yourself looking on the dark side, then slap yourself on the wrist. Actually give yourself a physical representation of your choice to stop being negative.

Whenever you notice yourself taking a negative path, slap yourself on the wrist because it will create a series of habitual memories in your mind that force your brain to take notice whenever you are negative. It makes it more difficult for you to be negative by accident or by default. This is not a punishment, it is a way of helping your mind recognize when you are being negative by default.

7 – Love, Money, Compassion And Equality Does Not Defeat Evil - Courage Defeats Evil

The most obvious question is, “How can I be positive in a world so rotten?” The answer is “Courage.” People may tell you that love will save the world, or understanding will change the world, or that people are good by nature and it is just their surroundings that make them bad. All of this is lies. If you want to live in a world where you proud to be positive, then be courageous and reward others for being courageous. Be proud of your courage, even if it puts you at physical risk.

A person who seeks out racists is not courageous, but a person who speaks out against something wrong even at the “risk” of being “called” racist is courageous. A sexually assaulted woman is not courageous if she forgives her attacker, but she is courageous if she presses charges, stands in the courtroom, and refuses to allow the man to get away with his crimes. A courageous person is not somebody who tries to fight a pitiful person, it is the person who dives into a pitiful fight to try to break it up.

Courage is powerful, and when courage is added to gratitude, you have all you need to be a positive and happy person.

William Grigsby is an HR expert at assignmentmasters. His passion is to show that each person is unique and can independently achieve success by applying efforts every day.William was writing in this space for 2 successful years.

Feel free to follow him on Twitter @willgrgsb

You've read 7 Ways to be a Positive Person, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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