Improving your mood by combining exercise and meditation

Improving your mood by combining exercise and meditation

Have you ever felt better after going for a brisk walk or run after a stressful day? You are not alone. The link between exercise and mood is very strong. Usually, within five minutes after moderate exercise, you get a mood-enhancement effect.

For many people, the benefits of physical activity extend beyond short-term relief. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that exercise can also help alleviate long-term depression.

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins reduce pain and trigger feelings of euphoria, commonly known as the “runner’s high.” This helps reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.

How much is enough?

It is better to maintain a consistent exercise routine than to burn out after one long workout session. Start with 20 minutes three times a week. Begin gradually and set realistic goals.

Any activity that increases your heart rate is good for your mental health. Walking, biking, dancing, team sports, and swimming are all viable options. Choose a physical activity you enjoy and stick with it.

Mindfulness meditation

Do painful emotions or chronic physical pain prevent you from functioning optimally? Mindfulness may help you cope. You may be able to learn to change and channel your thoughts to overcome the mental aspects of suffering.

In mindfulness, you learn to purposefully focus attention. You become more aware of the present moment as it relates to your thoughts, your feelings, and your sensations in your body. You become more aware of your environment.

Mindfulness meditation can stimulate emotional wellness. Controlling your breathing can engender sensations of calm in you.

Practicing mindfulness exercises can help you reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. You can reduce negative thinking and improve your mood. On a purely physiological level, you may experience reduced muscle tension and reduced chronic pain. Click here to read more.

Not sure how to start? You can learn how to meditate from the comfort of your own home. Check out apps, such as Headspace, Insight Timer, and 10% happier, for guided meditations and mindfulness practice.

Combining exercise and meditation to beat depression

According to a recent Rutgers study, combining exercise and meditation can be very effective in boosting your mood. The study found that exercising and meditating twice a week for two months reduced symptoms in 40% of the participants. Simultaneously working on the mind and body can lessen negative thoughts and emotions.

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