We all know that modern research has proven that eating right and exercising is beneficial for our physical health. But have we considered the mental health benefits? It's so easy to get caught up in a rigid weight loss goal but we forget that our brain needs goals too. Many people fall into the unhealthy trap of fixating on a workout goal almost to the point of obsession. By focusing solely on the physical benefits, one can completely ignore how our workouts make us feel. This is especially true for those trying to lose weight, Many people go into a workout thinking, "this workout is going to make me look better" instead of focusing on, "this workout is going to put me in a great mood and make me more productive throughout the day."
Societal pressure on being thin or fit can completely distract from the mental health benefits of working out. Regular exercise is an effective way to boost your mood and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It's a great way to decrease stress and increase your quality and quantity of sleep. When I plan my workouts, I try to switch my mindset from strictly physical benefits to include the mental benefits. This way, even if I'm having a particular hectic day, I still find motivation to make it to the gym, knowing it will help me burn off stress and get a good night's sleep.
Sometimes, by changing the reason why we do things can make our motivation a little stronger. Self care and self worth are more important than how we look, no matter what society tells us. When we make healthy life choices, we feel better. The benefits in that moment are all mental. Try making little choices everyday that make you feel like a stronger, healthier, more confident person. By humanizing the process and practicing self love instead of deprivation or negativity, you will see instant improvement.