Exercise the key to mental health
If nothing else, take that black dog of depression for a walk.!.
Being a single parent I endeavour to balance childrens needs, finances, work, my home, and ’real’ationships. Life can get pretty demanding and it is up to me alone to find a way to deal with these responsibilities. Although this juggle consumes most of my energy and is my biggest stress, it has also become by greatest strength. I tend to look at things from a ‘learning’ perspective and that strategy works best for me. Of course nothing is fool proof and I don’t have all the answers but I need to keep asking myself the right questions otherwise things start to break down fairly quickly. I am acutely aware of the seduction of anything (or any one) that offers a quick fix, either emotionally or physically, and are only interested in my sustained wellness. This includes preventing what I can with the information and awareness that I have, while also staying open to discovering and trying new things. I have been watching on Tuesday nights the doco about ‘Smart Animals’ and I remind myself that if birds with a brain the size of a pea can learn from new experiences, and remember what is worth repeating and what is not, then I certainly can! To be open to learning new things or new ways of thinking can bring objectivity, and with that comes the opportunity for growth, evolution and freedom. One of the most distinctive shifts in my own perspectives comes from the days that I exercise. Its effects on my moods are immediate and tend to stay with me for a while afterwards, not to mention better sleeps that always follow on the days that I have exercised. I always find it curious to observe that how is it that at times some thoughts on things happening in my life at the time, can fill me with anxiety on my way to exercise class, and those same thoughts can significantly reduce in size and power over me after class? Its not a co-incidence. Some people change their thoughts through illegal or prescription drugs, but I prefer to be in control of my own body and mind with exercise and a curiosity to my own thoughts. The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2020 depression will be the second most common illness in the world, and whilst models of therapy work for some people some of the time, exercise is a choice available to everybody all of the time. As an exercise instructor I am aware that I need to offer a range of choices for a range of abilities and I think I have achieved this. Exercise can be a great first step in unlocking the door to motivation and potential, it can literally alter perceived reality.
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