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WORKOUT: How to Break Out a Cycle of Negative Thoughts

Updated: Mar 26, 2022

Mental health. That can be a "scary" phrase to hear but, truly, a majority of us have to deal with some mental health and wellbeing issues such as stress, depression, anxiety, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Working out can have a profound impact on mental health. Physical exercise results in a release of endorphins, "feel-good hormones", to help improve your mood; normalizes neurotransmitter levels, and triggers positive feelings in the body.

This release of endorphins will actually provoke feelings in the body similar to that of morphine, reducing the perception of pain and giving euphoric feelings (referred to as a "runner's high").

It can also #trigger positive and energizing outlooks on life. People who exercise regularly feel more energetic, sleep better, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed. Exercise can also serve as a healthy distraction, allowing a quiet time to break out a cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression. It impacts the brain, providing a better blood supply that improves neuronal health by improving the delivery of oxygen and nutrients. And research indicates that even modest amounts of exercise can make a difference.

When it comes to getting started, begin at a pace that is appropriate for you. A great way to help guide you to what that might be is by meeting with a personal trainer. This fitness professional will be able to help determine a starting point, will serve as a support system helping to keep you motivated, and will be a person of positive reinforcement.

If you want to start on your own, plan on working out 30 minutes, two to three days a week. Being able to adopt this additional form of treatment by working out will help you strengthen your body mentally, helping combat symptoms of stress, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

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