The Best Mood Lifting Exercises to Improve Your Health and Wellness
Adding some mood lifting exercises into your daily schedule can have benefits for your physical, emotional, and mental health. In fact, this is one of the best ways to improve your overall health and give you the energy you need to face the rest of your day. These beneficial practices can be actual physical exercises, or they could be other types of practices such as self-development or healing work that you can add to your daily routine. What’s important is that the practices support your health and reduce your stress levels at the same time. These benefits are particularly important if you suffer from conditions such as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS), and struggle with stress and pressure in your life.
What is AFS?
AFS is caused by prolonged periods of stress. Stress is a major problem in today’s society because of issues with the modern lifestyle. Usually, the human body can cope with stress without too many problems because it has a system called the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response. This system makes changes in the body that protect against the negative effects of stress and prepare you to react to a potentially dangerous situation. But because modern life is full of ongoing stressors, this system can become overworked. Your adrenal glands are often the first organ to show signs of this overwork because they’re such a vital part of the system. Your adrenals secrete hormones that are essential in times of stress, and when this hormone demand is too high for too long, it can cause the adrenals to become fatigued and result in AFS.
AFS causes a variety of frustrating and elusive symptoms including fatigue, brain fog, digestive problems, depression, anxiety, and low blood sugar. Unfortunately, because AFS isn’t commonly accepted by the medical establishment, this can result in a long period of ill health and confusion as you struggle to get the right diagnosis and treatment. So if you think you may have this troublesome disorder, it’s important that you educate yourself on the effects of AFS and seek out expert help that will guide you on the road to recovery.
The Dangers of Exercising with AFS
For most people, starting an exercise routine has a number of benefits. After all, physical activity gives you energy, improves your health, and makes you fitter and happier. But if you have AFS, exercise can actually cause more problems or worsen your AFS symptoms. AFS causes a chronic lack of energy that is the natural result of hormone dysregulation and malfunctions in various organs. As a result, over-exercising can increase the body’s stress load and even cause damage that can result in adrenal crashes, periods of enforced inactivity as your body tries to heal itself, or worsening AFS symptoms.
The key to AFS recovery is to support the overall health and wellbeing of the body by creating an all over health plan that includes exercise, nutrition, and mental components. This means taking into account your physical condition and adopting exercise routines and practices that support and heal your body without causing additional stress or fatigue. Some of the best physical activities for this are mood boosting exercises because they gently condition the body while also improving your mental and emotional health.
Exercising Safely and Happily
Some of the best mood lifting exercises that you can do are physical types of exercise. Again, you need to be careful when adding these practices to your daily routine if you have AFS. If you over-exercise or push your body beyond what it’s willing or able to do, you will undo all the work you’ve done to overcome your AFS. This could cause your AFS to become worse or even make your entire system crash. However, gentle forms of physical exercise that support your health and healing can be as good for your mind and emotions as they are for your body. Some great forms of exercise you can try include the following:
This form of exercise is almost universally recommended during recovery periods as well as for people who are mostly healthy. It’s gentle and soothing, and it also helps to bring your nervous system into balance, which can help if you have AFS.
Putting on a song that you love and dancing around the living room is incredibly beneficial. Not only will this tone your body, it will also elevate your mood. And if you take a dance class, you will have the benefit of dancing with other people. This will allow you to make new social connections, which is incredibly beneficial for your mental and emotional health.
Walking or Running
For people with AFS, running can sometimes be a little too difficult, but walking is a great substitute. This form of exercise forces you to get out into the world and enjoy the natural world. That’s why a half an hour walk a day can be great for your heart health, your mental health, and for your mood as well.
This is not officially a form of exercise, but it should be. Gardening offers all the benefits of using your body in healthy and natural ways and gives you time in nature as well. This makes it one of the best mood lifting exercises available. Plus, if you make your garden beautiful, it will give you a sense of accomplishment and achievement that can go a long way towards making you feel good about yourself.
More Mood Lifting Exercises
Mood lifting exercises are practices that make you feel good, and they don’t have to be actual sports or physical exercises. They can be beneficial and relaxing habits you add to your life that improve your mood and your overall health. Including these types of habits into your life will also lower your stress levels, which can help to relieve symptoms of AFS as well as other stress-related disorders. Some of the best non-physical mood lifting exercises you can try include the following:
When your body is under stress it reacts in predictable ways, increasing your heart rate and your breathing rate. This increases your blood pressure and causes a number of potentially dangerous physical effects. But you can also lessen your experience of stress and strain by learning to control your breathing and center yourself. Learning how to do this can be a part of your yoga practice, or just something that you practice regularly on its own.
Keep a journal
This can be one of the most beneficial mood lifting exercises possible. Keeping a journal gives you a place to vent your negative feelings safely and healthily so they don’t become bottled up. It gives you a place to reflect on yourself and on your life and unearths potential sources of unhappiness and solutions. And it gives you a place where you can honor your negative feelings without giving your life over to them. Because denying them only makes things worse.
It’s too easy to forget how much you actually have in your life that’s good and in favor of focusing on the bad. This can affect your mood, your motivation, and your overall life enjoyment as well. To combat it, sit down and write a list of the top 10 things that you’re grateful for in your life when you’re feeling down. This practice can’t help but give your mood a boost. You can also re-read the list when you’re feeling down to remind yourself of all the good things in your life.
There will always be things that annoy you, people that cause you stress, and situations that frustrate you. But obsessing about these things will only make you feel worse. Practice accepting that you can’t control everything and everyone, and let it go. Turn your mind to the things you can change and affect and work on taking positive steps towards your health and happiness instead.
Mood lifting exercises and practices can improve your mental, physical, and emotional health and enhance your life in a myriad of ways. The physical forms of these activities have a number of health benefits, but should be added carefully to your life as they can also harm your health. This is particularly true if you suffer from disorders such as AFS, which means that strenuous exercise may actually lower your energy levels and your mood. You can avoid this problem by choosing mood lifting exercises that are gentle and soothing and don’t cause further stress or strain for your body. In fact, this should apply to all the activities that you add to your routine, as this will improve your mood and your mental health without causing further damage or worsening your AFS symptoms.
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
Can mood lifting exercises improve my health?
Mood lifting exercises can do a lot more than make your body fitter and healthier and help alleviate troubling symptoms or problems. They can also improve your overall mood and your outlook on life, making you a happier person who enjoys every aspect of your life more than ever before.