Have you ever found yourself so angry with no way to calm yourself down? You try every technique in the book, like counting, breathing, etc., but nothing seems to help. You might want to change tactics. Try going for a walk, a jog around the block, or you can hit the gym. You will find a sense of calm start to kick in when you’re active as your mind focuses on something other than the emotions you are feeling.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ‘regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health.’ Using exercise machines such as the treadmill can be beneficial to both physical and mental health.
Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
We all know that exercise can help improve your physic, improve your sex life, slim down the waistline, improve your physical health and add years to your life. But most people exercise and stay active for other reasons like staying energetic throughout the day, sleeping better, to feel positive and relaxed. Some even do it to feel in control of their lives and emotions.
Staying active can help you deal with anger and anxiety. It also positively impacts people who suffer from ADHD and depression and can help reduce stress levels and improve memory. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your fitness level is. You can use exercise as a powerful tool to help you stay fit and improve your mental health.
How to Use Exercise To Stay Calm
It’s a human defect to allow your emotions to control your actions, most of us still suffer from this and have not mastered how to walk away from certain situations, and it’s not something we will master overnight. Dealing with any emotion that triggers anger or anxiety can be very tricky. Here are a few ways you can use exercise or any other kind of activity that keeps you active to your benefit:
- Instead of immediately reacting to the situation, take a second or a few minutes to breathe. There are breathwork exercises you can use to help you manage your reaction at the moment.
- Walk away from a situation that makes you feel angry or anxious and go for a walk or light jog around the block.
- Do a few exercises to keep active. You don’t have to spend every waking moment in the gym; you need a maximum of 30 minutes. If time is not on your side, you can even do short sessions of 5 to 10 minutes, gradually increasing your time. Moderate exercise or activities that make you breathe a little heavier and make your body feel warmer is the perfect tool to keep you calm.
- You do not necessarily have to exercise to stay active; you can also use other types of sport, like soccer, basketball, tennis, etc. Any activity that increases heart rate is great to use.
To Be or Not To Be Active
Being active doesn’t mean you need to hit the gym and exercise. You can take walks, jogs, play your favorite sport, or if you have kids, take some time to run around the yard or play in the park with them. You will find that these activities speed up your heartbeat, make your body feel warmer, and you tend to laugh more, creating a sense of calmness in you.
But like I mentioned earlier, nothing works overnight. It takes time and practice to get to a point where you stay active just for the fun of it and not just to stay calm.