Have you ever heard of the phrase, if you don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter? You put your mind to it and you can conquer any challenge. A positive mental state is a great place to reside and revisit when challenges of today can become quite overwhelming.

One of the most effective ways to a keep a positive mental state of health is physical activity. Physical activity can enhance mental health factors such as, decreasing depression, reducing anxiety, improving mood, lowering stress, positively impact attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), improve memory and sleep. Research states that physical activity can directly affect a stronger sense of mastery or control over your life.

Wow, could physical activity be an effective natural alternative prescription to mental health challenges without the side effects of pharmaceutical medication? Yes, of course. Studies prove that mild depression can be treated with physical activity in contrast to antidepressant medication. Furthermore, it can prevent relapsing associated with depression. Physical activity can break the habitual cycle of negative thinking by promoting calmness. In addition, during physical activity a chemical in the brain known as endorphins are released by the body. This morphine like chemical gives a person an energetic and positive boost alongside of reducing the perception of pain. Physical activity also can be used as an anti-anxiety treatment. For someone dealing with the challenges of anxiety physical activity can relieve stress and tension, boost mental and physical energy and provide a sense of well-being by interfering with the constant worry. Medications like Ritalin and Adderall are used to treat symptoms of ADHD, yet physical activity can reduce the symptoms without the host of gruesome side effects. There are three neurotransmitters in the brain (that function as chemicals) such as, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin which are elevated as a result of physical activity. As those brain chemicals elevate they improve symptoms of ADHD, such as, concentration, motivation, memory, and mood.

Engaging in physical activity doesn’t have to be boring or time consuming. Try activities like 15-minute walks in the park, yoga, boxing, kickboxing, social activities with friends, or clean the house. When you are at work consider exploring your work building or the outdoor scenery at work, engage in social groups at work, join a committee, walk the stairs to relieve stress and if a gym is available near your job or on site look into becoming a member. Another scientifically validated tool to help cope with stress, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, and depression is meditation. Take a moment at your desk, or designated rooms in your home and work to practice deep breathing and relaxing meditative techniques. Lastly, another option is to invest in super cheap stress relievers, such as, stress balls or what helps you get back to the place of calm and ease. Keep these stress relievers in your house, at work, in your car and other places you tend to frequent. As discussed there are numerous natural methods of improving mental health. Try and see which method best fits your needs to sustain a positive mental state of health.

Health Neurotics, LLC is an emerging health promotion firm in Washington, DC offering health promotion consultation products and services. Health Neurotics specialize in diet and physical activity aspects of health promotion and health education for adolescents using health literacy standards and cultural competence to targeted demographics. One of our most celebrated efforts was a guest appearance on Sirius XM Shade 45 nationally syndicated radio show, First Aid with Kelly Kinkaid focusing on Diabetes Awareness Month. Our soon to be available highlighted invention, Body Cycle is a software application game for adolescents 12 and older to actively engage in learning about chronic disease and behavior change. We can be contacted at Betillman@gmail.com.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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