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Steps to greater happiness Step 10 Get active

Do you know that the body can influence the mind in a positive way? This is known as “somatopsychic” wellbeing.

Using the body mind connection can really boost our levels of happiness. Physical activity is a natural antidepressant. Moving our bodies in a way that raises our heart rate will release the feel good endorphins.

At the moment many of us can no longer take part in group activities or go to the gym. As my post explored last week, now more than ever, we need to focus on what we can do rather than what we can’t do.

It’s helpful to choose an activity that you enjoy to help you to stay motivated. For me a walk along the beach, a run in the woods, dancing in the kitchen and doing online yoga classes all help me to stay motivated, active and feeling positive. Many exercise classes are now available online, one of my favourites is yogasmiths.org

Aim to build physical activity into your everyday routine e.g. before or after breakfast; when you finish work; before your evening meal etc.

Many people find it useful to use an app on their phones to count their steps. It can feel empowering to know that you’ve achieved 10,000 steps or more each day.

Another useful tool is to rate your mood before you start the exercise and then to rate your mood afterwards. I tend to use a scale from 1 to 10. Recognising the mood boost that exercise gives you can be a strong motivation to stick with it, even when we are drawn to sitting on the sofa or watching another boxset.

For an even greater boost to our mood, exercise in nature can be so beneficial. My post on Step 7 explores the connection with nature in greater detail.

Why not make a decision to build more fun activity into your life, starting today?

If you or someone you know is struggling at the moment and needs support with wellbeing then please get in touch. I offer a number of bespoke 6 week programmes including “Overcoming stress and anxiety” and “Motivation for change”.

Please message or visit my website to learn more www.balancedhorizons.co.uk



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