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Exercising Your Way to Good Mental Health at School
Mental health at school and the mental health pitfalls of the modern university experience have become something of a hot button issue. Government research in the United Kingdom, for instance, shows that nearly one in four university students experience some form of mental health issue while at school. There are so many opportunities to feel anxious, depressed, and emotionally overwhelmed while studying, that many, if not most universities and colleges have made providing good mental health care for students one of their top priorities.
In addition to taking advantage and not feeling ashamed of utilizing your school’s mental health care services, you can also do a number of things on your own that will help you maintain a positive outlook and good frame of mind while you are away at university. One of the main ones, and one that everyone should incorporate into their daily lives, is an exercise routine. It doesn’t have to be the most intense routine in the world, but exercise not only helps build your body, but helps fortify your mind as well. Below are some of the reasons why exercise is an important part of good mental health at school.
The link between exercise and depression
Many studies have shown that exercise is capable of treating mild to moderate depression just as effectively as antidepressants and other pharmaceuticals can, and the best part is that you get the benefits of better neurochemistry without the side effects of the pills. Antidepressants are not something you want to be on, and the willingness of the medical profession – in conjunction with the pharmaceutical industry – to prescribe them is alarming.
In addition to relieving the symptoms of the onset of depression, research has also demonstrated that incorporating exercise into one’s daily life can actually prevent people with a history of depression from relapsing. The best part is that your school, more likely than not, includes a membership to all of its exercise facilities as part of your tuition fees. Many campuses have multiple gyms, swimming pools, running tracks, intramural sports leagues (among other things) that you can use to get your exercise fix. If you find yourself struggling to achieve good mental health at school, think about how much you are exercising before going to the doctor for a prescription.
Anxiety and mental health at school
For people with mild to moderate anxiety, exercise is one of the most effective natural anti-anxiety treatments. Exercise helps to cut stress and relieve tension (both mental and physical), it improves your physical and mental energy, and promotes overall well-being through the creation and release of important ‘good mood’ endorphins like serotonin, which will remain in the body after exercise as well.
Anxiety at school stems from a wide range of different sources. Anxiety over your ability to manage your time, anxiety over upcoming tests or projects, anxiety about work obligations, anxiety about interpersonal relationships (friends, family, and other relationships). At a certain point, your life can start to seem like one big anxious knot, making your university experience entirely unpleasant. This often causes students to fall behind in their coursework, to neglect friends and family, and sometimes even drop out of the university experience altogether. If you are finding that stress and anxiety is making it impossible for you to do your work, there are services out there that provide coursework writing help for when times are tough.
Exercise and attention
With all of the competing demands at school, combined with the near endless possibilities for distraction and time wasting in the internet age, it can be easy to lose sight of what you are doing and what’s important. A regular exercise routine is one of the easiest ways to help reduce ADHD symptoms, improving your ability to concentrate, stay motivated, read and retain information, and put your thoughts together. Exercise almost immediately improves your brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and and serotonin levels – all three of which contribute to your ability to focus and pay attention.
Many people simply don’t realize how important physical exercise is for mental alertness and sharpness. You need to ensure your body is properly taken care of if you want to get the most use of your brain. Being able to pay attention (including sustained periods of listening, reading, and writing) is an essential part of the university experience, and many students who are unable to do so, find themselves falling rapidly behind, and even failing entire courses.
Exercise and internal health
Not only is it important that you are releasing the aforementioned neurochemicals in order to feel mentally healthy, but maintaining good internal health will give you more energy, make you feel stronger, more capable, and will, in turn, contribute to feelings of overall well-being. A well-balanced routine that includes both strength and cardiovascular training is an important part of any exercise regimen. If you are someone who has, in the past, not done a lot of exercise, the feeling you get watching your ability to push your body further and further has a profound mental health-boosting effect.
Living healthier also means looking healthier, feeling more confident, having more energy to take on the day, and knowing that you are looking after your body’s physical needs in a way that also looks after its psychological needs. The link between exercise and mental health is well-established. Most physicians and psychologists will tell you to incorporate exercise into your routine (as well as, perhaps, prescribe medication).
Making time for exercise might seem difficult, given all of your other responsibilities, but people who are serious about making exercise a part of their daily life always manage to find a way. You can exercise in between, after, or before classes, or on the weekend. If it means cutting out an hour of mindless internet time, then you have to do what you have to do. You will certainly enjoy your improved mental health much more. If you are struggling to find the time to look after your mental health at school (whether because of too much work, or other competing obligations), contact Homework Help Global today and let us help you free up some extra time with our professional essay writing services.
(2018). “Student Experience Survey 2018: keeping mental health in mind.” Times Higher Education. Retrieved from: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/news/student-experience-survey-2018-keeping-mental-health-mind
“The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise.” Help Guide. Retrieved from: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm/
Young, S.N. (2007). “How to increases serotonin in the human brain without drugs.” Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience 32(6): 394-399Share: