***NOTE FROM ENO: This post is the second of a week-long series of blog posts celebrating National Relaxation Day on August 15th! Check out our relaxation sweepstakes going on from now until August 14th, and enter to win some ENO goodies!!***
It’s true..we all love to lay around in our hammock, eat ice cream, and watch a whole Netflix TV series from start to finish. Enjoying some down time and a little R&R is essential for lowering your stress levels and preventing yourself from getting overwhelmed by the daily grind. But at the same time, being active is vital to your mental health. Countless studies have shown that being active produces positive emotions, which will benefit both your physical and mental health.
Why are positive emotions important?
- They help your long term well-being. We become more resilient to adversity and become better able to achieve our goals.
- They increase personal skills. Such as creativity, knowledge, resiliency, and social integration.
- They counteract negative emotions. These negative emotions can have harmful effects, such as stress and anxiety.
Here are some ways that physical activity produces positive emotions…
- It allows to you to meet people and make friends. Being social and building relationships is a great way to connect with people on a positive level. Sharing experiences, goals, and working out problems with friends and family will help you appreciate life and constructively work out any issues that you may be dealing with.
- It improves muscle strength, boosts endurance, and gives you more energy. All of these things will positively increase your outlook on life. Being active sends oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work better.
- It makes you feel better about yourself. Both physically (e.g. healthy weight and weight control) and mentally (e.g. self-esteem).
- It stimulates brain chemicals. These chemicals, such as endorphins, dopamine, and anandamide can make you feel happier and more relaxed.
- It helps you get more sleep. Regular physical activity helps you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. And getting enough sleep really affects mood. We all know that being rested = happiness, while sleep-deprived = grouchiness.
- It better prevents and controls blood cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension. These are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease. When you stay active, your mind can be at ease that you are not in danger of having major health problems. This allows you to focus on better, more positive things in life.
- It motivates us! Physical activity motivates us to move, explore, and act. So essentially, being active produces positive emotions, which in turn motive us to be active. It’s a wonderful cycle.
So get out there and build some positive emotions!! Go for a swim. Take a hike. Climb a tree. You’re guaranteed to have a definite mood booster.