If you suffer from a mental health disorder, you’re not alone. In the United States, one in five adults experiences a mental illness in any given year, according to the National Institutes of Health. Mental health disorders can be debilitating and have a negative impact on every aspect of your life.
Fortunately, there are many ways to treat mental illness, and one of the most effective is through physical therapy. Here are five ways that physical therapy can help improve your mental health:
- Physical activity releases feel-good chemicals in the brain. Exercise is a proven mood booster. When you work out, your brain releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers that can also improve your mood. In addition to endorphins, exercise also releases other chemicals in the brain that are linked to improved mood and mental health, such as serotonin and dopamine.
- Physical activity can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 40 million adults in the United States suffer from anxiety, and nearly 16 million suffer from depression. Exercise has been shown to be an effective treatment for both anxiety and depression. In fact, research has shown that regular physical activity can be as effective as medication for treating depression.
- Physical therapy can help you learn healthy coping mechanisms. If you suffer from a mental health disorder, it’s important to have healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress and negative emotions. Physical therapy can help you learn healthy coping mechanisms, such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation.
- Physical therapy can help you develop healthy lifestyle habits. In addition to teaching you healthy coping mechanisms, physical therapy can also help you develop healthy lifestyle habits. For example, a physical therapist can help you develop an exercise routine that’s right for you, as well as healthy eating habits.
- Physical therapy can help you build a support network. When you’re dealing with a mental health disorder, it’s important to have a strong support system. A physical therapist can help you build a support network by connecting you with other people who are dealing with similar issues.
If you suffer from a mental health disorder, don’t hesitate to seek help. There are many effective treatments available, and physical therapy is a great option.