We all deal with stress from time to time, with some periods of our lives being more stressful than others. Everyone handles stress differently; some can cope with stress better than others, and some give in to the slightest bit of stress. Some use positive coping mechanisms like exercise and meditation, while others use negative coping mechanisms like substance use or other destructive behaviors. With all this increase in stress over recent years and decades, modern medicine has demonstrated within the past few years the effects stress can have on our physical and mental health, both long-term and short-term.
After an exciting NFL season, the Super Bowl is finally here. Arguably the pinnacle of sports in the United States, the Bengals will take on the Rams on Super Bowl Sunday. Millions of people will be watching the game around the globe, and many of them will spend the whole game sitting on a chair or couch. Let’s make the Super Bowl more fun with a game of our own.
We all understand that sometimes injuries can happen. Most people have experienced pain or an injury at some point in their lives. Although injuries can happen to anyone, how we choose to manage them determines our outcomes. Injuries are often underestimated in severity, and people feel they can “give it time” and wait to see if it will get better. This may work for some injuries, but often people are searching the internet or coming into our clinics looking for more guidance on how to get better, quicker.
One of the best changes I have seen in the medical community since I joined as a physical therapist is recognizing the importance of mental health and its impact on all aspects of our lives. The pandemic has increased the overall prevalence of depression and depression-like symptoms. This increase has led to many new individuals being unsure of how to take care of their mental health. Even though it will take a qualified practitioner to diagnose a mental health disorder properly, there are a few things that you can do to help prioritize your mental health.
As physical therapists, the physical component of health and wellness is easily understood and commonly discussed around injury prevention and rehabilitation. However, every day we treat patients that have also been affected by depression, anxiety, increased levels of stress, and low self-esteem due to injury and decreased functional ability. We strive to maintain a holistic approach to patient care and effectively serve the communities around us, remaining well acquainted with the benefits of exercise on mental health and wellness. Here are a few ways that exercise has been proven to boost our mental health.