Health & Happiness: Adding more movement to your life

By Camille Keith

With the longer days of summer we may have more energy and more opportunities to spend time outside. We usually think of being active as having positive effects on our physical health, but it can also help improve mental health.

When you’re feeling anxious you may have excess energy you’re not sure what to do with. Exercise can be a way to release some of this energy and be more present in your body.

Research has shown that exercise releases endorphins in your brain which make you feel good. Take a moment to note your mood before and after you exercise. Remembering how exercise makes you feel makes you more likely to do it again.

Depression can make it hard to get moving, so start with a small goal. Even a few minutes a day is better than nothing. Accomplishing your initial goal, such as a 5 minute walk, can also help you build momentum to meet additional goals.

Another way to increase your motivation could be to sign up for a class – if you’re paying for something you may be more likely to follow through. You may also meet new people, further developing your support system and improving your mental health.

Try a few different activities and see what you enjoy the most. One person may prefer going for a run alone, while someone else may prefer joining a basketball team.

Still feeling resistant? Counseling can be a way to discuss the blocks you are feeling, and provide support as you start adding more movement to your life.

Camille Keith, MS, NCC is an LPC Intern under the supervision of Tara Sanderson PsyD, and provides individual counseling to help you clarify your values and maintain your sense of self in relationships. For more information, call (971) 295-1547 or visit Photo by Taylor Jacobs on Unsplash