Awesome Mental Health Benefits of Exercising


After suffering from severe depression and being hospitalized for over 3 months, I was seeing a psychologist weekly and started to work full time again. Still my anxiety and mood swings were ruling over my life. I was really frustrated because in my mind I thought that I would immediately feel happy and grounded if I stuck to a weekly visit with my counselor, ate healthy, and went back to work.

So, I needed a distraction, something where I could measure my progress and see results. I needed to see and feel a change as fast as possible, otherwise I would have quit. I started to work to distract myself from my daily life and my to-do lists, so I would not give up my routine just because I wasn't seeing the results as fast as I was expecting.

Learning Discipline and Trust Your Body

Personally, this was, and still is, one of the hardest but most rewarding parts of exercising. As I mentioned, I am SUPER IMPATIENT. I need results otherwise I give up. It is how it is, but I learned to use my impatience as my motivation. If I stick to my routine, if I am disciplined enough and consistent, I will see results faster, I will feel better sooner, feelings of anxiety will calm down, and I will be in control of my body and mind instead of waiting for my body to react to external effects.

Every day for the last four years I have to push myself to work out and make healthy and positive choices for my body and mind, but it gets easier as my body gets used to the new routine. The more often I workout and make better choices for my body, the less motivation is needed to convince myself to do it.

Consistency is key. As every journey has its ups and downs, exercising is no exception. And there you need to trust your body and journey.

In my case, I love to run, and every run is a surprise. On one day it is super easy, on another day I feel weak and tired. I learned to trust my body and not to give up.

Step by step. #keepgoing

Improving Self-Confidence and Self-Awareness

You don't need to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or other mental health illnesses to feel weak, less of a person, or not entitled to a positive life. After getting my diagnosis, the only way I saw myself was as a patient. My lack of confidence was noticeable in every aspect of my life and I didn’t know if a positive and healthy life was meant for me. With exercising regularly, I learned to stand up for myself, to find myself and my health important enough to make time for it. Exercising and self-care have taken such a big part in my life that I don’t want to miss it anymore.

You deserve a happy life. A positive life under your conditions.


About the Author: Macarena Torres

Macarena is a hairdresser and stylist living in Vienna since 2004. Not only wanting to make her clients beautiful from the outside, she wants them to feel confident and happy from the inside. Having dealt with severe depression and panic attacks a few years ago, she is talking openly about finding a healthy work-life balance and a positive mind-body connection. You can follow her on Instagram @xmacarena


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