We’ve all heard how sports benefit our physical health. It’s a no brainer given that the activity is a workout in itself regardless if done leisurely or competitively. But did you know that sports can contribute to your mental health too? As to why, we’ve got a few answers.
It improves your mood.
Playing sports, as we’ve said, is a workout in itself and exercise releases feel good hormones, known as endorphins, in the brain and makes you happy. Yes, it’s not just the sense of fulfillment when you score a goal. It’s plain biology and it’s good for your mental health. Besides, who doesn’t want to feel good? Furthermore, several studies have shown that regular exercise and sports regulates the level of serotonin in the brain which helps prevent the likelihood of mental illnesses such as depression.
It keeps you sharp.
As far as mental prowess is concerned, sports play a role too. Because it involves the use of critical thinking, quick decision making skills, alertness and focus, it trains the mind and improves it. Overtime, one performs better at the aforementioned tasks and develops intelligence that’s beyond the pages of a book.
It pushes stress away.
Playing sports isn’t easy and being good at it is even harder. It involves what scientists call bearable levels of stress. The more you engage in it, the more the body gets acquainted with stress thus allowing itself to become immune to it or at least better at receiving it as time goes by. At the same time, it’s a very engaging activity and helps the mind get healthily distracted from its usual stressors allowing it to relax and recoup.
It makes you feel good about yourself.
This is beyond just looking good and fit or even feeling and being healthy. Sports have a certain way of making people obtain more confidence and feel good about themselves. Adrenaline for instance is consumed while at play which gives people bursts of excitement and thrill. Endorphins make you happy while serotonin chucks depression and anxiety out the door. All these combined including social exposure creates a sense of fulfillment and achievement. Besides, scoring a goal or a hoop has always felt accomplishing. Even in losing, sports help create a sense of acceptance and self love.
With all that said, we can conclude that sports can really help round an individual not just physically but also mentally and emotionally.