the mental health benefits of getting in the body

I have always been the kind of person that gets stressed out easily. I overthink and overanalyze every situation, and often feel overwhelmed with tasks that I put pressure on myself to complete. When I was reflecting at the end of 2017, and decided to make some serious changes, I knew that my lack of an active lifestyle was impacting my stress level and overall lifestyle.

I thought back to the occasional times I had exercised, and recalled how I felt post-workout. There was not one time that I could recall I finished a workout or left the gym feeling bad.

When I went to the doctor’s office in January, I experienced a pivotal turning point, and gained the understanding that I was constantly obsessing over my lack of exercise and my fear of health issues in the future, which ultimately led to me negating the task altogether and adding on other negative feelings, such as: guilt, shame, sadness, anxiety, stress, etc.

As an educator, I have a demanding schedule. While I love my work, there are some days where I feel drained both mentally and physically. Sometimes, after work, all I can think about is going home and getting in my bed. However, I also recognize that it is the prime time for me to exercise - so I have to suck it up and commit.

It took some time for me to get into a consistent routine; it definitely didn’t happen overnight. I set inspirational quotes as wallpapers, set reminders to hype myself up, and kept focused on my intention which was to be the healthiest I have ever been both mentally and physically.

While I am excited at the progress I’ve made physically, I am loving how I am feeling mentally even more. I am truly understanding that every single thing we do begins with our mindset. If we think anything and truly believe it, we will attract it and therefore receive it, which speaks to the incredible power within us.

That being said, we have to take care of our minds - and every time we exercise, we release endorphins which help significantly reduce stress and anxiety levels. Not only does exercise clear the mind, but living an active lifestyle can improve sleep and reduce health risks. It is important to prioritize this type of information because the future of our health requires this knowledge.

There has been a significant change in my mood since deciding to make exercise a part of my everyday wellness ritual. I encourage you to set a personal goal of just 30 minutes of exercise per week and then examine how you feel. The happier your body, the happier your mind - so be encouraged to let go of stress in a way that will undoubtedly benefit you if for no other reason than because you absolutely deserve it.

-- Kandace

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