Going by the adage, a problem well-defined is half-solved; lately, there has been a lot of talk around the implications of the sedentary lifestyle on physical fitness – and even more recently on how the millennial lifestyles is has been impacting mental health. For instance, while this generation seems to be afflicted with obesity, neck and back pains, hair loss, they are simultaneously dealing with higher anxiety, depression, lack of motivation than ever before.
Since mental health is a newer realm for the new-age Indian, protocols for mental and emotional fitness are still blurry. However, the standard thumb rule still applies: Consistent practice. A regular routine of some kind of mental exercise, like meditation, breathing techniques or even journaling – any practice of becoming objectively conscious to one’s own choices, behaviors, desires, triggers, and consciously addressing them and then letting it go, can be life-changing. But just like strength training involves slowly increasing resistance to increase muscle strength, working on mental fitness involves stepping outside the comfort zone, taking up newer challenges, and powering through the mental resistance. That’s what makes you stronger and fearless.
This is where adventure sports come into the picture of mental health.
Keeps Mentally Fit
Adventure sports like Bungy jumping brings you face to face with your fears and allows you a window for a breakthrough. A simulated environment to face the anxiety, and sit with it. Its a fabulous exercise in practicing mind over matter. Furthermore, accomplishing a feat like this gives a sense of accomplishment and confidence to overcome tough situations, and inspires you to face life battles, work pressure just like your bungee jump- head-on. Besides these psychological benefits, the rush of adrenaline is an experience to be lived.
Waking up at a set time and then start checking emails, news alerts, notifications on phone and then stressing ourselves to reach to our workplace, college, coming back late and then sleep and again waking up next morning to the same routine becomes monotonous over a period of time. Often, to meet deadlines, we skip the time reserved for sleep and rest and it bears its consequences in our lives. An adventure sport breaks this monotony and challenges ourselves to try some new and daring activity that we don’t expect to do in a normal circumstance. What it brings is complete bliss! It gifts us a state of mental calmness and a sense of accomplishment. Interestingly, it is wrong to assume adventure sports increases anxiety and stress. On the contrary, it helps you to hone the required skills to cope with stress.
A recent WHO study says India is one of the most depressed countries in the world with a massive 36% of Indians likely to suffer from major depression at some point in their lives.
It is found that adventure sports are one of the most effective remedies for releasing stress. It frees you from all the pent up stress, making you feel calmer and revitalized. While stress is often associated with depression and negativity, an adventure sport is associated with euphoria, energy, and excitements thereby helping you get into a positive state of mind. An adventure sport makes you more confident too. Kick the medical bills, and beat stress with adventure sports.
The happy hormone release after accomplishing adrenaline releasing activity is a feeling to be cherished. It does well for the mind, the body and the soul to seek out experiences that make you revel in the joys of being alive.
Good for Heart
Stress drives us to lose our cool sometimes and hectic lives today often mean we have outbursts of anger. Besides, the most prominent part of the human anatomy affected by stress is our heart. Studies show that those who take regular vacation breaks and indulge in adventure related activities are less prone to suffering a heart attack because you reduce stress and anxiety, which in turn reduces your blood pressure levels.
The other benefits of adventure sports include a break from your virtual life, turning off gadgets and meeting new friends while on a vacay!
So, do yourself a favor and give yourself a break!
by Niharika Nigam – Director-Business Development at Jumpin Heights