Fitness and Emotional Regulation
Emotional regulation is the ability to manage and respond to an emotional experience. Some emotional experiences may be painful, including feeling guilty, sadness, anger, self-blame, frustration and low self-worth. We may use different strategies to cope with these emotions, and some may resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms. The unhealthy coping mechanism includes substance abuse, avoidance, or numbing. Unfortunately, unhealthy coping mechanisms eventually lead to more issues.
There are a variety of healthy ways to manage painful emotions. Some healthy ways include talking to friends, getting enough sleep, journaling and arts. Journaling is beneficial because it helps you gain insight into what you are experiencing and learn about your emotional response to the situation.
Another healthy coping mechanism is to exercise. Numerous research has shown the positive influences of exercise on mental wellness. In 2015, a study in the US showed that physically active people were more likely to have better psychological health. For example, cardio exercise help increases serotonin, which reduces depression. A study done by Harvard University in 2016 showed that participants who exercised had a better capacity to overcome challenges. They also showed improvement in their goal-directed cognition compared to non-exercisers. Overall, people who engage in exercise have better emotional regulation.
If you are new to exercise, you might like to start with a thirty-minute walk two or three times a week, then gradually increase it. It is also helpful to go with friends or family members so you may encourage and be accountable to each other.
Restoring Peace Counselling & Consultancy offers counselling and psychotherapy services for various mental health challenges. For more information, please visit www.restoringpeace.com.sg or Whatsapp us at +65 8889 1848.
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