Science strongly supports the idea that being physically active makes you more emotionally resilient, relieves stress, and makes you feel happier. However, what does science have to say about recreation in general? Thankfully, it isn’t just aerobic activities that feed your brain. Weight lifting and physically active leisure activities both boost your mood.
Mental Health, Addiction, and Recreation
In recovery, it’s easy to underestimate how your mood can impact your resolve for sobriety. Underlying mental health problems are often the cause of addictive behavior in the first place. Substance use is often a coping mechanism to deal with the symptoms of mental and emotional distress caused by mental health disorders, so lightening the load of symptoms through recreation can make a huge difference in addiction recovery.
In a study with over 500 participants, the unemployed experienced significant change in their sense of purpose by participating in leisure activities, but homemakers and full-time employees still had significant improvement in depressive symptoms by participating in recreational activities. It seems simple, but being a part of something, actively improving yourself, and getting active can drastically improve your mood and self-perception.
Recreation Ideas for All Fitness Levels
Even light physical activity can improve your mood, so going to the gym and spending significant amounts of time on the treadmill doesn’t have to be the answer.
If you require some inspiration for mood-healing, body-rewarding activities, try the following suggestions:
#1. Go Fishing
It has been said that fishing is a lot like practicing meditation. Both activities are often solitary, thoughtful and create a sense of oneness and peace. Fishing may be the most understated treatment for anxiety that there is.
#2. Take a Walk and Take Photos
You don’t have to be a good photographer to take photos. While taking a walk can be beneficial all on its own, paying attention to your surroundings and appreciating the unique and beautiful things can lift your mood while you create something beautiful at the same time.
#3. Practice Yoga
There are tens of thousands of free yoga lessons on Youtube to practice in any setting. Yoga is a great treatment for depression. An article from the American Psychological Association entitled “Yoga Effective at Reducing Symptoms of Depression” states that twice-weekly yoga significantly reduced symptoms of depression in a study of adult participants.
#4. Do What You Find Fun and Fulfilling
If you have a hobby, it’s already helping you stay on top of symptoms of anxiety and depression. Do what you find fun, and you’ll reap the benefits of this recreation activity.
Being physically active or doing what you love can improve your mood, relieve stress, and make you resilient. Having less stress and more happiness can only help you on your journey to recovery. At Alta Loma, we know that recreation can be healing for your body, mind, and soul. While receiving treatment with us, we celebrate a hard day of work towards recovery with activities like bowling, horseback riding, hiking, bookstore hopping, and more. A healthy mind and body work together, and we want to help you achieve that balance. Call us at (866) 457-3843 to learn more.