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How Exercise Helps Your Mental Health

Woman in the foreground exercising and personal trainer in the background
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Connecting Mental Health & Substance Use

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly half of those who struggle with mental illness also struggle with a substance use disorder, and vice versa. This is often referred to as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Because of this incredibly high statistic, it is pertinent to treat substance misuse and mental health conditions.

Treating Mental Illness

Before treating a mental illness, it is critical to have an accurate diagnosis to determine what is causing your symptoms. Your doctors may complete a physical exam and blood work in addition to a psychological evaluation to be confident no other underlying conditions are resulting in your illness.

Treatment for mental illness varies depending on the diagnosis. However, general approaches have proven to be effective for anyone who may struggle with their mental health. Usually, a combination of treatments works best to ensure the patient’s needs are met. The most effective treatment approaches include medication, psychotherapy, and residential treatment programs.

While the mentioned treatment approaches are helpful, individuals must still participate in their care by doing things that positively impact their overall health. Specifically, incorporating habits like cooking nutrient-dense meals and regularly exercising.

Connecting Mental Health & Exercise

While exercise is known to help individuals gain muscle, it also directly impacts mental and emotional health. In fact, research shows that exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression. This is a result of the endorphins and other feel-good chemicals that release during your workout.

Physical activity boosts your brain’s dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels. After working out, you will recognize an improvement in your focus, concentration, memory, and mood. Additionally, you will notice that you have more energy, increased self-esteem, and better sleep — all of these components factoring into your daily mental wellness.

Exercising goes far beyond lifting weights in the gym. It is important that you choose physical activities that you enjoy. You might prefer to go for walks, runs, or bike rides. Others like to attend group fitness classes such as yoga, pilates, or dance to socialize with other like-minded individuals.

No matter what you choose, there are many advantages to making exercise part of your daily routine.

Treating Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders at Tennessee Wellness Center

At Tennessee Wellness Center, we offer a full range of therapies, treatments, and programs for individuals struggling with a variety of substance abuse disorders and behavioral and mental health conditions. We understand the relationship between mental health and substance use, which is why we employ a whole-person approach to wellness.

To learn more about how we can help you or a loved one, contact us online or call us at (865) 205-2770 today.

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