Health and Fitness

Mental Health

Intentionally practicing Mental health improvement is a way to counter the epidemic of chronic stress around the globe. Chronic stress is known to cause a decline in the hippocampus (McLaughlin. Gomez. Baran. & Conrad. 2007).

Stress can also lead to poor concentration, memory, confusion, loss sense of humor, anger and irritability, as well as fear. Stress is bad for the brain. However, better mental health practices can help reduce it.

Reduced anxiety

Improved moods

Clearer thinking.

Greater inner peace and calm.

Increased self-esteem

Lower risk of depression

Relationships that improve.

In today’s ever-changing world, it is more important than ever to develop practical coping skills. Mental health benefits can be realized by focusing on surviving through adversity, rather than just continuing to soldier on. The introduction of better levels of fitness has shown that improved mental health can be achieved.

There have been decades of research in the fitness industry that shows the benefits of taking care of your body. Although the concept of mental health is not new, scientific research has shown that it is becoming more popular. This is because medicine has always tried to find the root cause of illness so it can be treated.

Prevention is a more recent approach to mental and physical well-being. For both your mental and physical health, exercise is a preventative activity. Your body will be stronger, which means less pain as you age. This is also true for our mental health.

There are many benefits to mental health and physical fitness, including but not limited to:

Sharper memory.

Clarity in thinking.

Higher self-esteem.

More sleep.

Increased energy

Stronger resilience.

Increased BDNF (Brain – Derived Neurotrophic Factor), which enhances neurotransmission.

Counselors can assist with this process by helping you to let go of unhelpful or painful thoughts and behaviors.

Potential benefits of counseling:

Communication and interpersonal skills can be improved.

Greater self-acceptance

Improved self-esteem

Improvements in self-expression and emotion management

Treatment for depression, anxiety, and any other mental health condition.


Practitioners can also increase mental health by coaching. Although coaching is not therapy it can be extremely therapeutic. A coach can help you to grow and open up new avenues for personal development.

You can read more about the scientifically supported benefits of counseling.


Self-acceptance and self-appreciation are key components of learning acceptance

Better connection with self, others

Simpler life

Stress reduced

Harmony and peace

Greater self-awareness

Isolation reduction

Relationships that work better

Communication is improved

How to overcome procrastination

Work and life satisfaction

Accroissement in self-reliance

Improved decision making

Changes in mindsetz

Increased self-worth

Improved time management skills

Take a look at the Research

One of the best ways to improve mental health is exercise. Studies have shown that exercise can be beneficial for patients with anxiety-sensitive disorders (Smits and colleagues, 2008).

To reduce premature death, the Center for Disease Control recommends that you do 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity. Surprisingly, the majority of people fail to meet the guidelines for improving their health.

Research has not shown which exercise is best for your mental health. Aerobic exercise not only strengthens your cardiovascular system, but also releases serotonin which can improve your mood. Yoga and weight training are also great for your mind.

Journaling can be used to help with many aspects of your well-being. These benefits are not only beneficial for mental but also physical well-being. Journaling has been shown to improve breast cancer recovery rates.

Reflective journaling has been shown to increase self-efficacy and self-regulation in adolescents. It also helps with self-motivation. People who are trying to overcome addiction have also found great benefits from reflective journaling.

A journal is a great way to reflect and release stress and inner fears. Consistent practice can lead to a reduction in stress and negative thoughts. It has been shown that journaling can improve your critical thinking skills.

The area of coaching is still in need of some empirical research. Coaching has made significant progress in men’s lives. McKelley and Rochlen, 2007, found that men seek out help less often than women. However, coaching is more popular for them due to the lower stigma. Although coaching is not therapy it can help participants gain clarity, perspective shifts and improve motivation in all aspects of their lives.

Most Intriguing Scientific Findings

An interesting study on mice has shown the health benefits of exercising to reduce stress and social defeat (Lehmann. Weigel. Elkahloun. & Herkenham. 2017). Study revealed brain structures that are less functional when faced with chronic social defeat. Mice are also sensitive to social interactions, just like humans. Stress from interactions that are detrimental alters parts of the brain, which can lead to anxiety and depression in humans.

Exercise can reduce stress sensitivity and allow the brain to function normally.

A second interesting study was conducted in Canada by Dwyer, Piquette and Buckle (2013). It demonstrated the therapeutic benefits of journaling for women who have overcome gambling addictions. Participants in this study were taught how to journal effectively and also received group counseling. The results showed that there was less relapse and more growth in areas related to overcoming addiction thoughts.

An intervention study in schools (Zyromski, Bryant, & Gerler, 2009), found that reflective journaling was associated with increased academic achievement and fewer instances of violence.

The results showed that children who participated in online interventions to reflect on peer relationships had a positive effect on their perceptions and were more likely to request assistance.

Coaching, particularly with chronic patients, has been shown to improve mental health. Accountability is crucial! Everybody gets bogged down in daily life. A coach can help keep things in order and improve communication between patients and doctors (Leveille and al., 2009).

5 Things You can Do To Enjoy These Benefits

1. Move your body

More people would join a gym if they knew about the positive effects of exercise on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease. Exercise can increase ROS (reactive oxygen substances), which results in a decrease in the incidence of oxidative-stress-related diseases (Deslandes and al., 2009). Inflammation is a key component of every disease.

Regular exercise can increase the body’s ability reduce inflammation and slow down the aging process.

Begin small and build your exercise routine slowly and steadily. Exercising too much or doing aerobic exercise excessively can cause injury and decrease motivation to keep going. It is best to increase your activity slowly and steadily. No one is The Rock overnight.

2. Counseling

Advice can be extremely helpful if your thoughts or feelings interfere with your day to day life. It can be difficult to navigate trauma, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. It is even more difficult to do it all alone. Not asking for professional help doesn’t make you weak, it just means that you are ready to get stronger.

3. Coaching

Coaching is for many reasons. To best serve clients, coaches specialize their practice, much like counselors. Clients can use a coach to help them realize their power and to generate motivation to move forward. A professional will hold the space.

4. Journaling

There are many ways to begin a journaling habit. This can be extremely powerful to keep track of your thoughts, actions, motivations, and help you reflect on your personal growth. It is beneficial for both children and adults. They  shines light on one’s daily actions and if one is being truthful with oneself.

5. 12 Intentional Activities

Mindful activities are a way to improve your mental health. The How of Happiness, by Sonja Lyubmorisky, outlines the benefits.

Savor life

Thank you

Develop coping strategies

Do acts of kindness

Participate in flow experiences

Cultivate optimism

Spirituality is something you can do

Take care of your body and mind

Learn to forgive

Avoid social comparisons and overthinking

Take-Home Message

Recognizing the need to improve mental health is the first step towards realizing its benefits.  No one, not even the Dalai Lama, can claim to have reached perfection in mental health. All people face adversity. Yet, our ability to deal with it can grow like muscle.

It is worth the effort to start a new practice for mental health. You can start today, whether you’re grabbing a friend and starting a walk, or going to the store to buy a notebook for your journaling. You are only one step away from experiencing the many benefits of mental well-being.

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