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Sports and Mental Health.

20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day will help you feel calmer. That’s right sports are good for more than just your physical health, they are also good for your mental health.

When, you exercise it causes your body to release a chemical known as endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals in your brain that relieve stress and pain. The calmness you feel after exercise can last for hours. Exercising or playing a sport helps you calm down because your mind is cleared and you are concentrating on your game or your routine not the big test next week. Or the big board meeting. Sports strengthens your muscles and your mind improving your well-being.

Exercise and sports also help you sleep better, and when you get better sleep it improves your mood.

Playing sports can build your confidence and self-esteem. As you build your skills and strengths your confidence in your ability and in yourself grows. When, you play on a team you have to socialize this also builds your self-esteem and gives you a confidence boost. Discussing plays with your team or congratulating someone on a job well done at a practice or a game gives you good social skills. When, you fell confident to be social your self-esteem gets stronger.

In fact, you can learn many life lessons from sports which in turn help your mental well-being. Sports can teach you how to stay positive, how to work as a group or alone, how to be resilient. They teach respect for yourself and others, compassion and discipline. They build character.

Through sports a person learns to be strong in body and in mind. They learn they can push their body and mind beyond what they ever thought was possible and learn to overcome adversity. With this they know that no matter the circumstance they can overcome it if they push to do so.

Sports give us the sense of recognizing that everyone is different but if we respect those differences and work together we can achieve great things.

I know sports helped me a lot. When I was 10 I started playing little league baseball and I was the only girl on the team. My position ‘RIGHT FIELDER’.

At first, I was unaware that was thought of as the worst position. You know where they place the not so good player. I was not great at batting but I was the best damn right fielder there was. I caught every ball that came my way. Soon I earned a reputation and kids tried not to hit the ball to right field. I remember one game we played and this boy came to bat with such confidence. I knew exactly where he was going to hit it. He thought there was no way a girl would catch his ball. “Ball is pitched, Ball is smacked, Ball is caught. Yep right in my glove instant confidence builder. That boy became my step-brother a year later. I wonder if he still remembers that?

I played basketball in Jr. High school. At first, I didn’t want to even though I loved the game but I didn’t have much confidence in my basketball abilities. A friend convinced me to try out so I did thinking I would never make the team because I was too short. Guess what I was put in the position of point guard. I was pretty good at getting that ball away and passing it.

I gave every game I played my all and in return it gave me all. I went from a shy kid to having confidence in not only my abilities as a player but as a person. Playing sports really built my self-esteem. It also taught me all of those fore mentioned life lessons as well. My coach taught us to respect not only our teammates but the other team. To be always a good sport and congratulate the other team win or lose. He taught us we were all human beings before we were basketball players.

Now I know there are some who will say that sports can cause more stress and anxiety because you worry about your performance or mastering what you do. And I do not dispute that yes, sports can cause stress and anxiety. But to that I also say if you are stressed over not being able to preform well then there are a few things that can be the problem.

1. Maybe you are not in the right sport.

2. Maybe your coach pushes too hard. Wants a ‘win’ win at all cost. That is not a good coach. A good coach is one that encourages you to do your best, doesn’t yell at you, and takes the losses right along with the wins. Sure everyone wants to win but that is not

how life or sports work. Some times you win and some times you don’t.

3. You are too hard on yourself to be confident in your own abilities. It is always good to push yourself, but you have to also know when you have reached your limit and just rely on what you know you can do.

Now I am by no means a specialist in sports or psychology. I only know what sports did for me as far as depression, anxiety and lack of confidence. Not to mention helping me in life.

2 Replies to “Sports and Mental Health.”

  1. Sport and exercise can indeed help you in more ways than just improving your physical fitness. It can lift your mood and make you feel happy with your achievements. Thank you for sharing your experience with playing baseball, which sounds as if it was a tremendous way to build your confidence, as a fielder. 

    A good coach will encourage all the players, not just single out the star players and ignore the ones that might not be the best, but want to be part of the team and play the sport. There is nothing better than having had a good game to lift your spirits. 

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