You remember those exhausting running sessions in the school sports club, your shirt soaked in sweat, but when you sat back and relaxed while sipping your juice all that sweat and practice felt oddly satisfying leaving you with a feel-good feeling!
Well, we all know the physical benefits of playing sports but the psychological benefits outnumber them heavily.
So here are the top 5 psychological benefits which should be enough to get you started again:
1. Improves concentrations: While playing a sport your mind is constantly engaged, every decision you take, and every move you make is all governed by it. So, you subconsciously train your mind to be more attentive thus improving your overall focus.
2. Reduces stress and anxiety: Almost all of us can relate to the feel-good feeling we get every time we shed a few drops of sweat. Okay, let me give you the science behind it. Our hero here is the happy hormone that is released after every physical activity i.e. endorphins. Endorphins are a peptide produced naturally in the brain after physical activities which blocks the pain sensation thus giving you a happy feeling.
3. Helps in decision making: We all have to constantly make certain decisions while playing sports. So, a constant engagement of the mind leads you to a better decision-maker. It further gives you the advantage of taking decisions quickly thus kicking the villain (overthinking) out of the game.
4. Improves your overall mood: Again, all praises to our happy hormone but do you know that the brain after every physical activity also reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. So, this double-action pumps you up and you feel at top of the world (hikers can relate to this I’m sure) 🙂
5. It can help fight addiction and depression: A research paper submitted by Synder et al, 2010 states that a group of athletes whether in school or sports clubs were observed to have higher socializing skills, better mental health, and happiness when compared to non-athletes. Another paper by Taliaferro et al, 2011 states that people thoroughly engaged in sports tend to have less tendency to get depression.
So, I’m not saying that you should get up and start preparing for the Olympics straight away or follow the rigorous training routine but at least go out and take up any sport! be it cricket, baseball, squash anything! Don’t ruin this body respect it, so just go out and play!