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In a personal mental crisis then work on your well-being.

Mental well-being does not have a single universal definition, but it does encompass factors such as:

The sense of feeling good about ourselves and functioning well individually or in relationships. The ability to deal with the ups and downs of life, such as coping with challenges and making the most of opportunities. The feeling of connection to our community and surroundings. The feeling of having control and freedom over our lives and having a sense of purpose and value. Of course, mental well-being does not mean being happy all the time, and it does not mean that you won’t experience negative or painful emotions, such as grief, loss, or failure, which are a part of everyday life. However, whatever your age, being physically active can help you lead a mentally healthier life and improve your well-being.

What impact does physical activity have on well-being?

Physical activity has the potential to enhance our well-being. Even a short burst of 10 minutes’ brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy, and positive mood.

Participation in regular physical activity can increase our self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety. It also plays a role in preventing mental health problems and improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental crisis.

Impact on our mood.

Physical activity has shown to have a positive impact on our mood. A study asked people to rate their mood immediately after periods of physical activity (e.g., going for a walk or doing housework) and periods of inactivity (e.g., reading a book or watching television). Researchers found that the participants felt more content, more awake, and calmer after being physically active than inactivity periods. They also found that the effect of physical activity on mood was most significant when the mood was initially low.

Many studies are looking at the physical activity at different intensity levels and its impact on people’s moods. Overall, research has found that low-intensity aerobic exercise – for 30–35 minutes, 3–5 days a week, for 10–12 weeks – was best at increasing positive moods (e.g., enthusiasm, alertness).

Impact on our stress.

When events occur that make us feel threatened, or when events upset our balance in some way, our body’s defenses cut in and create a stress response. This response may make us feel a variety of uncomfortable physical symptoms and make us behave differently. We may also experience emotions more intensely.

The most common physical signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, and loss of appetite. Symptoms like these are triggered by a rush of stress hormones in our body – otherwise known as the ‘fight or flight response. These hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline, raise our blood pressure, increase our heart rate, and increase the rate at which we sweat, preparing our body for emergency response. They can also reduce blood flow to our skin and reduce our stomach activity. Cortisol, another stress hormone, will at the same time releases fat and sugar into the system to boost our energy.

Physical exercise can be very effective in relieving stress. Research on employed adults has found that highly active individuals tend to have lower stress rates than less active individuals.

Exercise not only has a positive impact on our physical health, but it can also increase our self-esteem. Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves and how we perceive our self-worth. It is a crucial indicator of our mental well-being and ability to cope with life stressors.

You can read more Minplan stories here. You can go and download Minplan for improving your own well-being here.