Chronic pain is, in many ways, tied to mental health and your mood. Many individuals who live with chronic pain experience some type of negative emotion, such as anger or frustration, because of the pain they are experiencing on a daily basis. If you are living with chronic pain, it is important to understand that depression and anxiety are commonly associated to this type of condition. In fact, research has found that having both chronic pain and mental health issues can have a profound effect on the overall quality of life.
Exercise has a great impact on your mood. It is thought that being physically active could be as effective as anti-depressants in mild cases of depression. It’s important to keep up, or start, an exercise routine to keep your spirits lifted.
Exercise is very beneficial to your physical, mental, and emotional health. It positively affects:
- Your energy levels
- The quality of sleep you get each night
- Decreases anxiety
- Chronic pain conditions worsened by depression and stress
- Your self-esteem, confidence, and body-positivity
- Avoid less-than-ideal approaches to boosting your mood like indulging in sweets or even alcohol.
How exercising outdoors can boost your mood & help Reduce Pain
Exercising outside gives you an added boost. People who exercise outdoors have reported greater vitality, excitement, and less stress after walking in nature.
- Less Screen Time
If you are constantly inside, it’s very tempting to relax on the couch and turn on the TV or scroll through your social media accounts on your phone. Exercising in a controlled environment – like a gym – may help, but getting outside is even better.
Gardening, mowing the lawn, and playing with your kids are activities that get you moving and away from the screens, while increasing your energy levels. This is especially great for your kids. Children are twice as active when they spend time outside as opposed to staying indoors.
- Natural Sunlight
Sunlight triggers hormones in your brain and increases the release of serotonin. Serotonin is accredited with boosting your mood and helping you feel calm and collected.
Sunlight can also stabilize our circadian rhythms which helps us get a better nights’ sleep. Light can decrease depression and even increase focus and performance.
- Vitamin Boost
Vitamin D helps us fight disease. We can get our daily amount just by spending time outside. It can help protect us from a variety of conditions like osteoporosis, heart attacks, and even cancer. Your body can make Vitamin D if you get outside for 10-15 minutes a day.
This idea of exercising outside is called “Green Exercise.” Researchers in Great Britain have found that even just five minutes of exercise outside can be the mood-lifter you need.
Another added benefit of getting outside is exposure to plants. Plants help improve your immune system and the airborne chemicals from plants help shield us from bacteria that cause viruses.
Contact the team at SDOMG to start reducing your pain naturally, to help boost your mood and manage chronic pain.