4 Ways in Which Sports Makes You a Happier Person
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This is a quote we all have heard as children. In the current scenario, it has gained a lot of importance. We have adopted highly stressful lifestyles. This has given us more money, improved our standard of living and made our lives more comfortable. But in the bargain we have been losing our physical health. More importantly, our mental health has also been affected. The increasing rate of mental illnesses and psychological disorders stands testimony to this fact. It is a well known fact that sports and physical exercise is important for physical well-being. But how much does it improve your mental health? Read on to find out!
" Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game. "— Michael Jordan
There are 4 chemicals produced by our body that are responsible for our happiness. These are:-
Dopamine is responsible for motivation, reinforcement and reward based behavior. Ample amounts of dopamine in the body, helps individuals in working towards their goals in life. A lot of people feel lazy and don’t have the drive to do anything in life. They often claim that the fire within them has died.
Dopamine can rekindle that fire. It gives people the motivation they require to work towards their goals. Thereby, it helps them regain their sense of purpose in life. Large amounts of dopamine are released by the body after a tiring game or a workout. This generates feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction and happiness. Higher levels of dopamine can lead to feelings of euphoria, bliss, and enhanced motivation and concentration.
Reward based behavior
A person who consumes drugs experiences the same effects. This is because substances hijack the brain's neuro-transmitters. Since it is responsible for reward based behavior , the brain remembers the place from where it gets the dopamine kick. This is what leads to drug addiction. So, if the brain regularly gets dopamine kicks through physical exercise, this will act as a motivation to pursue it further. Personally, I have been involved in sports for the past 7 years. And I can vouch for the fact that during stressful times, my body craves for an hour of physical activity.
Serotonin is commonly referred to as the ‘Happy chemical’. It helps regulate mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, sexual desire, and function. One of the main reasons for depression is the lack of Serotonin. Deficit amounts of serotonin in the body can also cause eating disorders, insomnia and social anxiety. Physical activities stimulate the production of serotonin. This is why you might have experienced an elevated mood after a brisk walk in the park.
Oxytocin is a hormone that plays a major role in the reproductive process in both men and women. It is also responsible for love, building relationships and trust. It's sometimes known as the "cuddle hormone" or the "love hormone". This is because it is released when people bond socially.
Team games involve working together, trying new things, winning and losing together. This creates a very strong bond between teammates. This sense of camaraderie often leads to good friendships. Hence, sports helps you develop deep and meaningful relationships. Naturally, this makes you a happier person.
“ Sports are such a great teacher. I think of everything they’ve taught me: camaraderie, humility, how to resolve differences.”— Kobe Bryant
Endorphins are released by your body as a response to pain and stress. These are also known as the ‘feel good chemicals’. Exercise is one of the most common ways to trigger the production of endorphins. Every athlete, at some point, would have experienced the ‘Runner’s high’. You don't feel physical pain or anxiety and you are in a blissful state. This feeling is caused thanks to the production of endorphins.
The above mentioned chemicals can be released in your body through all forms of physical exercise. Personally, I would recommend pursuing a specific sport. When you choose a particular sport, you will have to develop certain skills. These skills are required to play the sport effectively. You’re always improving and learning something new. This takes away the boredom and keeps you sharp. Team sports will help you build meaningful relationships. Also, we as humans are social beings who love to do things in groups. So when you are a part of a team, you will be accountable to others. This acts as a motivating factor.
In conclusion, sports helps you stay mentally and physically fit. It triggers the production of all the chemicals in your body that are responsible for happiness. Therefore, each and every person must make sports a vital part of their life.
© 2020 Avyukth Krishna