Saturday, 24 January 2015

[] How Exercise Improves Your Mental Health


How Exercise Improves Your Mental Health

We all know that exercise is good for your health. That is no great secret. But what about our mental health? Can exercising help us with our emotional problems, our intellectual problems or our addictions? The answer to all of these is a resounding YES. Exercising is one of the best things you can do for yourselves, not only for the sake of your physical body, but for your mind as well. Below you'll find 11 ways exercising a few times a week will help your overall mental health.

1. Reducing Stress

Have you had a rough day? Are you stressed? Head right out of the house and take a walk somewhere. You can also go to the gym and run for a bit. One of the best effects of exercising is stress relief. Getting a healthy sweat going can help manage your mental and physical stress responses. So go ahead and work off those anxious feelings.

2. Boosting your body's happy chemicals

Exercising is never easy, but if you can do it, the body will reward you for it. Exercising releases endorphins, which in their turn create feelings of euphoria and happiness. Several studies have shown that exercise has such a powerful effect it can even alleviate symptoms of clinical depression among the afflicted. Many doctors recommend that people who suffer depression or anxiety to start working out. In many cases, exercise can be just as, if not more, effective as antidepressants. Don't worry, you don't need to become a gym junky, just 30 minutes a few times a week can give you this effect.

3. Boosting your self-confidence

Along with anxiety there are usually other unwanted guests - low self esteem and low self confidence. It doesn't matter how old you are, hopping on that treadmill and getting those endorphins will make you feel better about yourself for the whole day. Working out a few times a week will make you feel more secure, less threatened by external factors and more confident in your own abilities and self worth. 

4. Fighting depression by exercising outdoors

While the gym is a good place to work out, being outside has been proven by studies to improve our mood and encourage euphoria. Find an outdoor workout that fits you, it can be hiking, climbing, rafting or just taking a jog in a nearby park. An added bonus to the great feeling you'll get and the reduced stress levels is all that vitamin D you'll be soaking from the sun (don't forget your sunscreen!) that can alleviate symptoms of depression. So remember, a little fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for your mental state.

5. Preventing a cognitive decline

It's not fun to talk about, but we all know it's true. As we get older our brains a little hazy from time to time. Aging, as well as degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, kill off brain cells and shrink the brain in the process. While obviously exercise is not a cure for any of that, they CAN help immunize the brain somewhat against cognitive decline, boosting the chemicals in the brain that help prevent degeneration of the hippocampus - the part of the brain in charge of memory and learning new things.

6. Reducing your anxiety

Studies have found that a 20 minute jog is actually better at alleviating anxiety than a warm bubble bath. The happy chemicals that get released during and after a good work out help us calm down in a way that a bubble bath could never do. To reduce your sensitivity to anxiety, go on the treadmill for some moderate-to-high intensity aerobics work outs.

7. Boosting brainpower

Various studies conducted on the effect of cardiovascular exercise on mice and humans have revealed that exercise can actually create new brain cells (also known a neurogenesis) while enhancing brain performance overall. In addition, experts have discovered that a brain-derive protein known as BDNK is increased with a good workout, and helps in better decision making, higher-form thinking and speed of learning. So from now on, you can call your gym pants my "smarty-pants".

8. Fighting addiction

It doesn't matter what you're addicted to, the effect is usually the same. Our brains are wired to release dopamine (the neurotransmitter that makes us feel pleasure) when we surrender to our addictions. It could be drugs, shopping, gambling, sweets, television or a thousand other things. For the brain it is all the same - it releases pleasure.

With drugs, our brain becomes completely dependent on these materials to release dopamine, which makes the addiction that much stronger. However, exercise has been proven to help with recovery from addiction. Short sessions can distract our brain from the pleasure it seeks by making it produce endorphins instead of dopamine. This helps the cravings and 'reboots' the body's clock, thus helping those that cannot fall asleep without their favorite addiction to relax and drift off.

9. Getting more done

Feeling like you have absolutely no incentive to get things done? Go for a run, right now. Studies show that people who take time to exercise on a regular basis have more energy and get more done than their more sedentary counter-parts. An extra tip: Experts believe that a midday exercise is the most effective in this regard, due to the body's circadian rhythms. 

10. Tapping into our creativity

Many believe that creativity is best achieved from a relaxed state, sitting comfortably in front of a blank page or pondering a problem. Experts would disagree. In facts, research shows that a good cardio-vascular workout can boost creativity for up to 2 hours afterwards. So if you're challenged by a tough problem, don't sleep on it - run first, take a shower and then go to work on it, you might find that you are thinking more clearly and arrive at better results.

11. Helping others

Whether it's a game of football or a group class at the gym, studies show that exercising with others enhances all the effects we've just discussed, especially self confidence, pleasure and fighting symptoms of depression. Working out is much more fun when done with others. So if you want to supercharge these effects, find a group or a workout buddy to really get the most out of time spent exercising.







Posted by: Rajesh Chennai <>
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[] What's Your Real Wealth and How Are You Going to Earn It?



By Junaid Tahir
I have noticed people thinking/talking about money all the times. The people are so much concerned about money that they count every single penny they have spent or going to spend. When I ask about this, their answer usually is that saving money is associated with the economical richness which is linked with their future happiness. This is fine however there are several catches which should be considered in parallel; for example, if one is saving money by:
1-    compromising on health (eating less or eating bad quality food or not eating healthy diet to save money). Is this a good deal in the long run?
2-   Not spending on his family's needs so depriving them from their rights.  Is this a good idea?
3-   Not giving gifts to his family members, consequently straining the family relationships which results in tense environment at home. Is this a good deal?
4-   Not visiting friends and other family members so jeopardizing the social life. Is this a good way of living?
5-   Not paying taxes to government so committing crime which is punishable in this world and hereafter.
6-   Not paying Zakat/charity so depriving the less fortunate to enjoy the life and polluting the whole income and join the gang who are not in good books of Lord.

While analyzing the scenario of association of money with Happiness, I had these questions in my mind. What is the real definition of richness? Is this only money which one should be craving about? Or there are other things which need to ponder as well? Can wealth make me happy? What is real wealth? While thinking about the answers I concluded that there are four things which can make me happy. 1) Good Family Relations 2) Good Official Life 3) Good economical status 4) Good social Life. While thinking about Wealth, I ended up with having these types of wealth:

1-    Physical Wealth
This is a great blessing indeed. If my major body parts are functional, nothing like that. I already posses loads of wealth. Imagine a millionaire having a plastic leg or hand. What if Lord offers you to exchange a million dollars at the cost of your eye or Leg? Off course you would never go for that option. So you have to feel happy about being healthy as this is amazing blessing. I would highly recommend not saving money at the cost of my health. And If you do it today, you will do it reverse as well, that means, you will be spending the same money to recover your health  but off course with all the side effects of bad health.

2-   Family Wealth
Family wealth means having healthy family relationships may it be with mother or spouse or kids. This is something extremely important to which everyone should work considering the fact that a major percentage of our life is spent with the family members. Keeping your family happy does not involve a lot of money expense hence you can keep your family happy by small good deeds even. For example, eating ice cream at the end of the day with all family, taking family to a park on weekend, sharing jokes before going to bed and/or bringing small nice gifts can make big difference for making family bonds stronger and stronger whereby increasing Family Wealth.

3-   Inner Wealth
This is something which controls your emotions, your behavior, your character and definitely your destiny. Being optimistic, problem solver and positive thinker will make you a super hero in true colors. These qualities can bring about superb results and would control your peace of mind ultimately. Always remember: No one is in-charge of your happiness, except you. So control your thoughts and have a healthy "Inner Wealth" bank account.

4-   Career Wealth
A positive environment, a nice colleague at work, a genuine team leader and a mature department head are real blessings. But sometimes you won't get all these in one package as it is said that you can select your friend but cant select your Team Leader or Director. However you can learn to manage your office environment up to large extent, you can manage your time and work load. You can have a balanced work-home load. You can sharp your skills by reading/trainings etc. Career Wealth is something which cannot be ignored while striving for happiness. There is load of information on internet which you can read to improve your "Career Wealth". Google it.

5-   Economical Wealth
I believe I don't need to write any specific thing in this category as everyone already working on it day to day. I must say that economical savings should never be done at the cost of your Physical Wealth or Family Wealth. Further, we should always put aside a small percentage of money (say 5%) for social causes (hospital, helping needy families, spending on less fortunate people and other charity causes). From a religious perspective, every single penny you spend in God's way is being saved in your "Next" Bank Account and you are going to get the benefit up to so many time based on your intensions and offcourse this results in Blessings in your family !!!

6-   Impact Wealth
This is something different from other categories. Do you have a wealthy mental approach so that you do something for society. Everyone lives for himself but do you live for others? Are you helping person? Are you taking part in any social causes? Helping others gives real peace of mind and happiness so in my opinion it is a type of wealth. So how much Impact Wealth do you own? 


Conclusion: Life is all about love and peace. We have to have simple rules for living. Complications arise when we start taking life too seriously by thinking about our wants too much. We have to live more with our Needs than our Wants J

Article written by Junaid Tahir


Junaid Tahir, a telecom engineer and a blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness and stress management at his personal blog. His personal Google Group can be joined here. He is reachable at for any kind of suggestions and comments.


Posted by: Junaid Tahir <>
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