Want Better Mental and Emotional Health? Here's Why Exercise is Your New Best Friend in 2023

Mental health is an important part of our overall wellbeing, yet it is often overlooked or ignored. Despite how common these issues are, many of us don't always know how to improve our situation, especially in the winter time. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to boost our mental and emotional health and wellbeing, especially in the winter when we tend to be inside more. Importantly, exercise has also been shown to have positive effects on mental health by releasing endorphins which can help lift your mood. Read on to learn more to make exercise your best friend in 2023.

Importance of Mental Health

Photo: John Arano

Mental health is such an important part of our overall wellbeing, yet it is often overlooked or ignored. Mental health problems can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. Despite how common these issues are, many of us don't always know how to improve our situation, especially in the winter time. We might even try to ignore the emotional messages that tell us something is wrong and instead distract ourselves with activities or self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, or food. We might spend our time on our phones or on the couch binging Netflix series that are mindless, filled with horror or true life crime, or watching shocking documentaries that make us feel worse instead of better. Don't get me wrong, there are times for these things but if we are not in a good emotional place anyway and we're watching serial killer documentaries, it's probably not helping us feel good about ourselves or our lives! Not to mention it could be affecting our mood, sleep patterns, or triggering our fear and anxiety.

Fortunately, there are steps we can take to boost our mental and emotional health and wellbeing, especially in the winter when we tend to be inside more. Taking time for yourself to relax and unwind can help reduce stress levels and give you a chance to reflect on your feelings. Importantly, exercise has also been shown to have positive effects on mental health by releasing endorphins which can help lift your mood. Finally, seeking professional help from a coach or mentor if needed can provide guidance and support when dealing with moving forward in your life.

Why Physical Exercise?


Physical activity is an important part of maintaining good mental health. It can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase energy levels. As aforementioned, exercise actually releases endorphins, which are hormones that make us feel good. Regular physical activity can also help to improve sleep quality, which is essential for overall wellbeing.

"Exercise because you love your body not because you hate it," Unknown..

There are plenty of positive effects physical activity can have on your mental wellbeing. This guide provides tips and suggestions to help you get started with exercise, such as finding activities that you enjoy doing or setting realistic goals. It also encourages people to think outside the box when it comes to being active – there are many ways to be active beyond just sports or going to the gym. Finding something that works for you is key in order for exercise to be beneficial for your mental health. So let’s all get physical and reap the rewards!

How Does Exercise Improve Depression and Anxiety?

Exercise is a great way to help ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can provide an escape from the cycle of negative thoughts that often accompany these conditions, allowing you to take your mind off worries and focus on something else. Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits as well. It can help boost self-confidence by providing a sense of accomplishment when meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones. Exercise can also improve one’s self-image by helping them get in shape and feel better about their appearance.

In addition to its psychological benefits, exercise has physical benefits as well. It releases endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers that can help reduce stress levels and improve overall mood. Exercise also helps improve sleep quality, which is important for managing depression and anxiety symptoms. Furthermore, it increases energy levels which can be beneficial for those who struggle with fatigue due to depression or anxiety. All in all, regular exercise is an effective way to manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety while improving overall health and wellbeing.

How Does Exercise Improve Stress Levels and Sleep?

Photo: Tânia Mousinho

Exercising is an effective way to reduce stress and break the cycle between your mind and body. It can help you relax both physically and mentally, allowing you to better manage your stress levels. Exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones that make you feel good. This can help improve your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety or depression. Additionally, physical activity helps to reduce tension in your muscles, which can help relieve physical symptoms of stress such as neck pain or headaches.

Regular exercise also helps to improve sleep quality, which is essential for managing stress levels. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies become more vulnerable to the effects of stress. Exercise can also be a great distraction from worries and negative thoughts that may be causing you stress. Taking time out for yourself to focus on something else can be a great way to clear your head and give yourself some much-needed mental space. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, try taking some time out for exercise – it could make all the difference!

How Do I Get Started Exercising?

Photo: Gervyn Louis

Starting and staying motivated to exercise can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. The first step is to identify what type of physical activities you enjoy doing. This could include anything from gardening in the evening, jogging in the morning, biking, playing basketball with your children after school or any other activity that you find enjoyable.

Once you know what activities you like, figure out when and how often you are likely to follow through with them. For instance, if you know that mornings work best for you then make sure to schedule your workouts during this time. If you are not a morning person, waking up at 5 am for a 6 am spinning class might not last.

I can not stress enough that you must LIKE what activity you choose. You don't have to LOVE it. But don't do something you hate. I've seen people start classes, sports, etc., go a few times, and give up very quickly.

For me, personally? I HATE running. Yes, I said it. I have tried many times in my life to convince myself otherwise. I did it a few times. Overdid it. Was sore the next day. Didn't go again for a few years. And I'm not a runner. I don't't want to be. If anyone sees me running, there is a tiger behind me or an assailant with a knife - so you should run NOW!

Staying motivated also requires setting realistic goals for yourself and rewarding yourself for meeting those goals. Start small by setting achievable goals such as going for a walk three or ideally four times a week or running for 20 minutes every day. As you reach these goals, reward yourself with something special such as a massage or new workout gear. Don't reward yourself with food as that creates emotional eating patterns. Additionally, don’t forget to track your progress so that you can see how far you have come and stay motivated to keep going. Finally, remember that consistency is key when it comes to staying motivated, so make sure to stick with it even on days when it feels hard!

How do I Clear My Resistance to Exercising?

Let's face it, not everyone likes exercise. Some people downright despise it. For other people, there is a resistance to authority, like a doctor or health expert telling them they should do something. It's important to understand why you have resistance to exercising and how to clear it.

Guess what? If you grew up in a household where you were often told what to do and had no say, an inner part of you will be resistant to change even when you know it's helpful.

One of the most common reasons for resistance is fear. Fear of failure, fear of not being able to do it, fear of looking foolish or feeling embarrassed. If you've tried in the past to make a routine and it hasn't worked out you might not feel confident. It's important to recognize these fears and address them head-on. Talk about them with a friend or family member, write them down in a journal.

EFT Tapping for Resistance and Motivation

Photo: Andrea Hunt

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping is a powerful tool to help clear resistance and increase motivation for exercise. EFT tapping works by gently tapping on specific points on the body while focusing on a particular issue or emotion. By doing this, you can release any negative emotions or beliefs that are blocking your progress and replace them with positive ones.

When it comes to exercise, EFT tapping can help you to release any negative beliefs or emotions that are preventing you from getting started. It can also help to increase your motivation and enthusiasm for exercise, making it easier to stick with a routine.

Do you want to clear your inner resistance towards creating new habits? Clear your procrastination to starting a new routine? Start your EFT tapping session package to me and let's transform you this winter! 


ANDREA HUNT - Online Transformational Life Coach & EFT Tapping Practitioner based in Munich, Germany

I'm an accredited transformational life coach from Animas Centre for Coaching UK  and a member of the International Coaching Federation. I'm also a Level 2 practitioner in EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) and a member of AEFTP (Association of Emotional Freedom Technique Professionals).

If you're not sure where to start transforming your life, you can download my free ebook on How to Start Your Personal Growth Journey.

Are you ready to change your life, let go of old beliefs, empower yourself for a mindset shift to move forward? Mark Batterson says: You're always one decision away from a totally different life.

If you're interested in booking a free 15 minute discovery call for transformational life coaching, EFT Tapping or checking out my services page click here.

header image: LOGAN WEAVER |

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