We have talked a lot about the importance of mental health–the importance of finding peace and balance.  Yoga and meditation are good examples of calming exercise. While these things are important, sometimes strenuous exercise can also be just as important. Life and work can often cause feelings of stress and frustration. Engaging in some type of rigorous physical activity can help “burn” off some of these feelings. As you are engaging in the activity, think of things that you are frustrated about. The exercise is the engine, and those feelings can be the fuel. It will not make the issues go away, but it can help you deal with them better. Pour the intensity of the emotions into your work out. 

According to the American Psychological Association there are several benefits to exercise.

1. Mood enhancement- It can help ease depression.

2. Fight or flight- Exercise can help individuals be less anxious when experiencing fight or flight type situations.

3. Buffering the brain- Exercise can toughen the brain and make it more resilient.

Michael Hawkins

Michael Hawkins, MA, LPC is a licensed professional counselor at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH). With almost 25 years of experience as a counselor, he works with clinicians, students, staff, and clients—compassionately attending to the human needs that arise in the practice of veterinary medicine. Counselor’s Corner is a blog devoted to that purpose. BACK TO BLOG