Lets get physical



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Physical activity is now considered THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR in increasing optimal functioning. 

Let’s get physical!

Positive Psychology may be defined as, ‘the science of optimal human functioning’, ‘evidence based happiness research’, and, ‘the science of how to make individuals, communities, and businesses thrive’. It is a relatively new field of psychology, which has been around for just over a decade after having been introduced in the year 2000 as a counterbalance to, ‘psychology as usual’, which focused mainly upon disorder and mental illness. Positive psychology sought to redress this imbalance in the field, and focus instead upon what works, and how we can shift mental health from moderate, to positive.

Positive Psychology is not just optimism, and thinking positive thoughts, but also covers areas such as positive relationships, strengths, peak performance, accomplishment, and physical activity – which is the area of Positive Psychology that I am going to focus my blog on for today. 

More and more, the links between being active and feeling good are becoming apparent, and the importance of having a Sound Mind and Body is now well publicised within both academic literature and mainstream media as well.

Being more active corresponds to better mood, increased healthy life span, reduced incidence of mental illness, and is effective in treating depression. One psychologist and speaker named Tal Ben-Shahar actually suggests that not exercising is the equivalent to taking depressants!

 High profile advocates of physical activity as a catalyst to improve well-being include Richard Branson, who, when asked what single piece of advice he might give as a method to improve personal productivity, he replied, ‘Work-out’. Branson suggested that as a result of exercising his mind became more focused, and an additional four productive hours were realised within his day. The academic evidence backs up this viewpoint, with research suggesting that physical activity facilitates more effective thought processing, and the release of negative energy, meaning that levels of stress are reduced, well-being is increased, and the positive knock on effect continues.

To achieve optimal functioning, or a state of psychological flourishing as it is now known, positive emotions, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment are all required. Each of these aspects may be achieved through physical activity and exercise, where endorphins are released when you workout, positive relationships are built with coaches and friends, meaning is found through working towards your goals, and accomplishment comes from achieving them.

Why not try one of the following tips this week…..

At work: combine work with physical activity, take a meeting outside, and walk and talk. This stimulates creativity and gives a fresh, more open, perspective on things.

At home: sit on a swiss ball when watching television, and focus on keeping your core stable and posture perfected.

So whilst the importance of exercise for physical health has always been clear – there is now an additional excuse to get active and feel great!



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1 comment

  1. Yvonne Hurlow

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