Motional Benefits of Exercise and Self-Esteem

There’s nothing wrong with leaning on functional benefits if they support the brand position and differentiate from competitors. For instance, Volvo’s ad messaging focused on safety to drive brand loyalty and a competitive advantage in that category.

Self-expressive benefits are also key, like the sense of elegance and cool projected by Apple’s iPhone or the rugged masculinity of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Boosts Mood

Whether it’s a jog around the neighborhood, a dance class or playing a sport competitively, physical activity boosts mood by encouraging new brain cell growth and alleviating depression. It also improves mood by normalizing sleep patterns, helping you fall asleep faster and stay awake longer.

The euphoria you experience after a workout is caused by the release of endorphins, which act like morphine in your body to block pain and promote positive feelings. Moods are regulated by a hormone called norepinephrine, and exercise increases blood flow to the brain and affects mood-regulating areas of the brain.

When you feel in a bad mood, the simplest way to snap out of it is to hug someone or something that gives you a natural dose of oxytocin. However, if your mood is persistently low and other strategies fail to lift it, it could indicate a more serious mental health issue. If that’s the case, consider talking to a therapist.

Reduces Stress

Stress is a part of life, but it can cause problems such as headaches, fatigue and tense muscles. While it’s impossible to eliminate, you can learn how to manage it and keep a healthy balance.

Laughing reduces the stress hormone cortisol and boosts your mood. Meditation, massage and deep breathing exercises also lower the heart rate and calm your mind. Talking with friends and family, exercising, and setting a regular sleep routine can all help.

Exercise, in particular, helps the brain moderate stress by releasing chemicals that promote mental health and teaches your body to adapt to and recover from physical stress. Walking, jogging, swimming, biking, weight lifting and dancing are all great options. Also, exercising in a group or with a friend can increase your motivation and confidence.

Improves Mental Health

What’s good for the body is often good for the mind. For instance, exercise has well-known emotional benefits: It can alleviate depression, make people feel happier, and improve sleep and mood. It’s recommended to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day for the best results.

Being outdoors can also help improve mental health. Walking in a park, spending time near water, or even looking at a picture of nature can lower stress levels and enhance feelings of happiness, according to research.

With open enrollment just around the corner, now is a great time to get employees excited about their employee assistance programs (EAPs). Provide training and encourage employees to use these resources to meet their mental health needs. This will help reduce absenteeism and presenteeism. It will also lead to increased productivity and better performance. Plus, treating mental illnesses can help prevent them from reoccurring. Employees can even become less reliant on medication.

Increases Self-Esteem

People who are healthy in their self-esteem treat themselves with kindness and care. They are able to say no to things that would overwhelm them and take time for themselves without feeling guilty. People who know their worth also tend to have healthier eating and exercise habits that allow them to maintain a balanced lifestyle. They understand that their body is worthy of love no matter what it looks like.

Self-esteem is usually regarded by psychologists as an enduring personality trait (trait self-esteem) although normal, short-term variations in self-esteem may occur (state self-esteem). A strong sense of self-worth can help to prevent mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

One way to start cultivating healthy self-esteem is to create a list of your positive attributes and keep it somewhere you can see it often. Whenever negative thoughts come up, you can use this list to deidentify them and take back control of your inner dialogue.