Whether you are dealing with depression or an anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or bipolar disorder, a support group of any kind can be helpful. Even if you are already on medication or seeing a therapist regularly, exercise is a beneficial activity to boost your “feel-good” hormones such as endorphins and serotonin. Therefore, mixing both exercises with a support group is one of the best ideas yet, for anyone!
Support Groups for Support
Therapy is great and medication is needed in many cases, but no matter what mental health condition you have, exercise is good for it and being in a support group can make exercising that much easier to stick with. Some people may work out a few times and then taper off because they are too busy, too tired, or too bored with it. Having a group of your peers to support you and hold you accountable can not only help you feel better but it can also keep you going long after you may have quit otherwise. Sharing your feelings, both good and bad, with others who have similar issues can help you figure out how to better deal with the things you are going through while you are working on making your body healthier as well.
The Happy Hormones in Your Brain
If you did not already know this, exercise actually boosts the chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. The endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin are all “happy hormones” that increase with physical activity to make you feel better inside and out. In fact, these chemicals can not only boost your mood, they can also help relieve pain, increase your energy, and even give you confidence. There are other chemicals in the brain and body that exercise can increase such as adrenaline, which gives you energy, and GABA, which can calm and relax you. Any or all of these chemicals are benefits on their own but they help out even more with your mental health when you are also able to talk to others about your problems while you are feeling good.
So, what is an Exercise Support Group?
- Walking Clubs
- Neighbourhood Exercise Committees
- Sport Groups
- Yoga Support Groups
- Fitness Support Clubs
- Depression Support Exercise Groups
- Anxiety Support Exercise Groups
If you are unable to find an exercise support group in your area, try looking online. Many of these groups are now done online through Skype or teleconferencing. That means you can work out at home but with the support of the group who can be all over the world. This makes it easier for people who have trouble going to public places such as those with PTSD or extreme anxiety disorders. It can also greatly benefit those with depression who have difficulty just getting out of bed some days. No matter what your issue is, joining a support group is always helpful and you can always benefit from the exercise.
If you feel you need to talk to a mental health professional, there are websites such as BetterHelp, that have thousands of licensed therapists that can help anytime, day or night. And you do not even need an appointment.