Our brains have trouble seeing the bright side.
If you’re struggling to find the silver lining and keep jumping to the worst-case scenario, a lack of activity could be to blame. Exercise helps take the edge off and provides an outlet for us to release negative emotions, explains psychologist Yvonne Thomas, PhD. “Whether it’s through cardio-related physical activities or more mild, less intense movement like walking or doing housework, a person is able to literally work out some emotions by breathing more deeply and by actively re-channeling emotions through one’s body movements,” she says. “It can set off the feel-good endorphins that can be calming and relaxing.”
When we sit on the sofa all afternoon or bail on a yoga class with a friend, those not-so-great emotions fester and intensify, creating a cycle of Debbie Downer thinking.
Our brains develop self-deprecating thought patterns.
You know that moment of euphoria following a super-sweaty, challenging workout? You feel strong, unbeatable and excited for your recovery snack or meal. No matter what type of movement, Thomas says fitness boosts confidence and offers a sense of accomplishment. On the other end of the spectrum, not exercising has the opposite impact, decreasing self-esteem and image. “This is because the person who’s too sedentary can feel and think of themselves [negatively] in many ways,” Thomas says. “The person may feel less vibrant, fun, productive, energetic, and so on.”
Once these thoughts begin, they’re tough to beat. It becomes a cycle of putting ourselves down, not having enough energy to work out, and then feeling worse afterward.
Yvonne Thomas Ph.D. is a reputable Los Angeles Psychologist.
To read the full article “5 Things That Happen to Your Mental Health When You Don’t Get Enough Exercise” visit realsimple.com