Warning: Exercise causes happiness & Exhilaration

How exercise can shift a bad mood.

Photo by Andrew Dinh on Unsplash
Photo by Andrew Dinh on Unsplash

In a bad mood? Exercise! 
Feel stressed? Exercise! 
Feel angry? Exercise! 
Feel upset? Exercise! 

Since I’ve been a Fitness Instructor I have had many people come to class stressed, in a bad mood, angry, fed up, sad, upset, down and have left happy, relaxed and re-energised. 

This is something I have also experienced myself (and chances are my boyfriend has noticed my mood changes after I teach an exercise class).

But why is this? Why does our mood change so much when we exercise? 

1, When you are angry, stressed or in a bad mood, you will be holding the tension that comes with those emotions in your body. Your body will be tensed up. Exercise gives you the chance to let go of that tension, you have no choice but to let it go. (If you don’t believe me, try exercising with your body tensed up. Eventually you will relax those muscles to be able to move them). When you let go of the tension from your body, you are letting go of those emotions from your energy.  

2, Exercising also boosts good hormones:

  • Endorphins – the hormone that makes you feel happy and exhilarated.  
  • Dopamine – the pleasure hormone. Instead of getting your dopamine kicks from sugar or alcohol, get it from exercise. It is the hormone often associated with orgasms! Is that enough reason to exercise?? Admittedly, I’ve not had anyone have an orgasm in class, but there’s always a first time!  
  • Serotonin – is the hormone responsible for happiness, restful sleep, and a healthy appetite. You want to feel happy but also want to sleep and eat well as they all tie in to boosting your mood. If you sleep well, you will feel happier and be able to handle tough situations better. And eating better…well, about 90% of your serotonin is made in your gut, so you definitely want to make healthier food choices. 

All of this lowers your levels of negative emotions and increases your positive ones. This makes you feel happier, able to get on with your day, able to handle tough situations better, have more clarity and make better decisions.

I know when you are stressed or in a bad mood or going through a difficult time, the last thing you may want to do is exercise, but I can guarantee you it will make you feel better. Even if all you manage is a 5 minutes jump or dance around the house or a run down your road and back, it will start shifting some of that negative energy and allow you to let go a little. 

Even if your situation doesn’t change, how you deal with it will change.

So, next time you feel rubbish, try exercise.

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