Given all that human civilization has been through during its history, it is amazing that it is only relatively recently that the importance of keeping positive mental health has been something that is frequently discussed in the press, and that people feel comfortable talking about. Humans have been through famines, disease, invasions, and countless wars in the last thousands of years, but only in living memory have doctors, physicians and scientists carried out proper research into mental health, what can cause us to feel sad and down, and what can help us to feel better and happier about life.
A big step forward in tackling the stigma surrounding mental health has been celebrities talking about their own struggles, as it clearly shows that anyone can suffer from depression, anxiety, etc., no matter their situation in life. Ryan Reynolds has been public in his battles with anxiety, as have Emma Stone, Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, and Kim Kardashian. These are some of the most celebrated and public figures on the planet, but even they have had difficulties in keeping positive mental health.
There are a number of sports stars who have also opened up about their darker periods. Gianluigi Buffon is one of the most celebrated goalkeepers in the history of soccer, winning nearly every major trophy available. However, he opened up in his autobiography about the struggles he had when he first joined Juventus, and how he enlisted the help of a psychologist to help him with his problems. Andres Iniesta, Marcus Morris, and Mardy Fish are just a few of the other famous athletes who have been through similar problems and have opened up about their struggles over the recent years.
Sports betting can be a lot of fun. If you want to get into it, for more details check bookmakersreview.com to find some of the best odds available. However, it is important to remember that the people you are placing bets on are real people, with real emotions. If they don’t win a game or match you bet on, the last thing you should do is send them abuse on social media, as it could negatively affect their mental health.
Sport has been shown to have a positive effect on our mental health. Let’s have a look at some of the key ways scientists have linked positive outlooks and feeling happy to taking part in sport.
It gets you out of bed and out of the house
For those of us out there who suffer from depression and anxiety, often the hardest hurdle is having the motivation to get up and face the world. Outside can seem scary and challenging, full of the unknown and potential dangers. That’s why having a sport or exercise to look forward to can really help, as it means you have a schedule keep and something to look forward to.
Getting some fresh air and Vitamin C from the sun is one of the simplest ways of improving mental health. Adding to that some exercise, and taking part in a sport, will also improve our mental wellbeing very effectively, as it releases endorphins, the chemical which is responsible for euphoria. Whether it’s a team sport, going for a run or bike ride, or simply a walk in a park, your mood will improve with some active sport.
We can all remember some of the nights after an intense day of playing a sport, where not only have we come home buzzing from the competitiveness of the game/match, but how tired we were afterward, resulting in a great night’s sleep. Sleep is incredibly important for our mental health, as the more we get, the more rested our bodies and minds are, having the chance to recharge. With poor sleep, we don’t get the same opportunities, which can have a negative effect on our mental health. Therefore, the regular sport will help improve our sleep patterns and help us feel better mentally.
Interacting with others
Taking part in a team sport is a fun way to mix with people, whether they are friends or relative strangers. Playing soccer, basketball, baseball, etc. with friends helps us connect with them, and helps us relax while still wanting to win. If you join a team where you don’t know many other people, it is a great way to mingle with other like-minded folks and form new friendships. You’ll start to look forward to participating in these sports, which will do wonders for your mental health.
Slows down cognitive decline
Playing sport helps our minds to concentrate on areas outside of our work, using different parts of the brain that might otherwise remain inactive. Therefore, it keeps you sharp, practicing critical thinking and decision making, and improving concentration. Engaging all of these will help to improve our outlooks, leading to a more positive outlook on life in general.
Increases brain capacity
Getting the body in shape is synonymous with getting the brain in shape. Some research affirms that intense training increases the levels of the BDNF (brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor) protein secreted in the brain, which could positively influence decision-making, thinking, and learning.
A healthy body promotes a healthy mind and a better state of mind means better performance. The higher the performance, the more productivity.
With renewed energy, routine exercise increases vital energy levels, which influences productivity on a day-to-day basis, whether at work, school, or everyday tasks, we couldn’t make it easier for you!
Increases our ability to concentrate
All sports require a certain degree of concentration, in some it is essential. In individual sports such as chess, tennis, or gymnastics our mind is almost as important as the body. Being focused or not makes the difference between doing it right or wrong.
In team sports, you must focus your attention during exercises and games, thus increasing your ability to concentrate.
This characteristic is essential in the childhood stage, so it is advisable to practice some sport during childhood.