The Blog

Movement and Mental Health

Our mental health is important. Thankfully this is becoming more widely acknowledged, along with the understanding that “it’s ok to not be ok”. One proactive thing we can do is to use movement to bolster our mental health.

Working Towards a Sound Mind and Body

I have had problems with my mental health in the past two years. The mind can play so many tricks. I didn’t think anything was wrong for a while, but getting help has opened my mind up hugely and now, more than ever, my hobby is important to me. It aids me in having a sound mind and a sound body.

Several times over the past years I have struggled to do training for a number of reasons related to my mental health. I had to force myself to do it. Those days were tough, but once I did my sessions I realised how important they are to me. Sometimes I would have bad anxiety and be stressed, but once I had trained and put some music on and thought about positive things I started feeling much better. I found that it was important for me to keep moving and not just sit around.

Coping Strategies

I have found that the best thing is to control what I can control. I try not to worry about other things. Stress and worry over something you cannot control is not worth the effect it has on you. When you are training you can over analyse things but I try to turn them into a positive and squeeze negatives out.

Over the years I have developed my own way of coping in stressful situations – if I feel anxious or start to panic I control my breathing by breathing in for 4 seconds and then out for 7 seconds. A 10 minute walk or other movement also goes a long way to calming me down and getting my mental health back on track. I realise that I naturally like moving and can’t sit still, but when I have days where I don’t feel 100%, it really does help me to get out and move around. I particularly find that walking in the morning sun sets me up for a happy day.

It Won’t Always Be Easy But it Will Be Worthwhile

There will be days you don’t feel like getting out but honestly, they are the days that are the best. If I don’t feel like running I force myself to go out but promised that if I am not enjoying it after 10 minutes I will come back home. Most of the time I stay out longer and end up enjoying it or having one of my best runs. Try to keep moving don’t just sit about all day if you are working from home – I walk around the house if I can’t go outside. I always find when I am exercising I relax and it helps to clear my head and therefore destresses me.

So here’s my simple message – it is important to keep moving. Getting out for exercise goes a long way to giving you a sound mind and a sound body.

 

NoblePro realises that there is more to good mental health than movement and that for some, this may not be an option. Here are some great organisations that can help if you are struggling. Please don’t suffer in silence.

https://www.samaritans.org/

Tips from MentalHealth.org & https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/

Matt Ress talks about running and anxiety here

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Yiannis Christodoulou
Yiannis Christodoulou
European and National Aquathlon age group champion.

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