Supporting World Mental Health Day
East Basildon Primary Care Network supports World Mental Health Day which will take place on the 10th of October 2023.
We are able to provide advice for patients and refer them to relevant services that can benefit one’s mental health.
About World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day, an internationally recognised occasion, is dedicated to advancing the knowledge, promoting consciousness, and advocating against societal prejudices regarding mental well-being on a global scale.
This momentous event was initially commemorated in 1992 under the auspices of the World Federation for Mental Health, a prominent global organization working relentlessly to address mental health concerns and establish collaborative ties across over 150 nations.
Mental health can be both positive and negative, depending on one’s current situation and circumstances.
There are various types of conditions one can experience affecting their mental health.
Organisations supporting mental health
For those living in East Basildon, there are a number of different organisations that we work closely with to offer patients better health and wellbeing.
To be referred to one of the organisations below, visit this link to submit our Social Prescribing / Self Referral form.
You will then be signposted to the service that suits your requirements.
Motivated Minds is a non-profit ‘Community Interest Company’ (CIC) that offers sustainable mental health and wellbeing solutions based in Basildon, Essex.
Year-on-year, they have seen growth while delivering services to over 2000 people a month in and around Essex through the HAPPY Hub.
The Happy Hub is their one-stop-wellness shop for both children and adults based in the Eastgate Shopping Centre offering instant mental health support on the high street.
For World Mental Health Day (10th October), Better Health have created two new mental wellbeing resources for pupils aged 5–11. Their What is wellbeing? assembly and Self-care resource can help young people understand the meaning of wellbeing and explore activities to help them feel good and boost their physical and mental health.
Accredited by the PSHE Association and the NHS, they include an immersive film featuring young people speaking about their thoughts on self-care, worksheets and scenario-based activities that can be delivered flexibly across the school timetable.
MIND Youthful Wellbeing
MIND’s Youthful Wellbeing service is for young adults aged between 18 to 25 years old.
If you know a young adult who would benefit from early intervention wellbeing support, please make use of this opportunity.
South East and Central Essex (SECE) Mind is an independent charity and a ‘Local Mind’. Local Minds like us are separate registered charities from National Mind, and while they have similar aims and values, SECE Mind fulfils different roles.
At SECE Mind, they provide:
- supported housing
- counselling for both adults and children
- peer support groups
- mental health training and free mental health signposting to anyone who needs it
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, excessive worry or low mood, then VitaMinds can help. VitaMinds works in partnership with the NHS to offer a range of short-term psychological therapies, known as IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) to adults 16-years and over, who are registered with a Basildon, Brentwood, Billericay or Wickford GP.
Again, to be referred to one of the organisations above, visit this link to submit a Social Prescribing / Self Referral form. You will then be signposted to the service that suits your requirements.
The Benefits of Regular Exercise
Regular exercise has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. In this blog post, we will explore some of the key advantages of incorporating exercise into your daily routine.
Improved Physical Health
Regular exercise is an essential part of maintaining good physical health. Not only does it help to improve cardiovascular health, but it also strengthens muscles and bones.
Additionally, regular exercise can help to maintain a healthy weight, which is important for overall wellbeing.
One of the key benefits of regular exercise is its positive impact on cardiovascular health. When you engage in activities such as jogging, swimming, or cycling, you increase your heart rate and improve blood circulation.
This, in turn, strengthens your heart and reduces the risk of developing heart disease.
In addition to its cardiovascular benefits, regular exercise also helps to strengthen muscles and bones. When you engage in activities that challenge your muscles, such as weightlifting or resistance training, you promote muscle growth and improve muscle strength. This can help to prevent age-related muscle loss and maintain mobility and independence as you get older.
Exercise is not only beneficial for muscles but also for bones. Weight-bearing activities, like walking or running, stimulate the bones to grow stronger and denser. This is especially important for women, as they are more prone to osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones.
Moreover, regular exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories, which can help to prevent weight gain or assist in weight loss. Additionally, exercise can help to boost metabolism, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight in the long term.
Beyond the immediate physical benefits, regular exercise can also reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Studies have shown that individuals who lead an active lifestyle have a lower risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, certain types of cancer, and even depression. Exercise helps to regulate blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and promote overall mental wellbeing.
In summary, regular exercise offers numerous benefits for physical health. It improves cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles and bones, and helps to maintain a healthy weight. By engaging in regular physical activity, you can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve your overall wellbeing.
Exercise and its Effect on Mental Well-being
Exercise has long been recognized for its positive impact on physical well-being, but its benefits extend beyond just the physical realm. Research has shown that exercise can have a profound impact on our mental health as well, enhancing overall mental well-being and boosting mood.
Release of Endorphins
When you engage in physical activity, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These natural substances are often referred to as the body’s “feel-good” hormones. Endorphins help to reduce feelings of pain and stress and promote a sense of well-being. In fact, they have been shown to have a similar effect to that of morphine, acting as natural painkillers and mood elevators.
Regular exercise can lead to increased production of endorphins, which can have a significant impact on your mental well-being. It can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, reduce stress levels, and improve overall mood.
Reducing Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders that can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life. Studies have shown that exercise can be as effective as medication or therapy in relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Exercise helps to reduce anxiety by increasing the production of endorphins, which act as natural mood boosters. It also promotes the release of other chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, which play a role in regulating mood and promoting a sense of well-being.
Depression is often associated with low levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood. Exercise can help increase serotonin levels, leading to improved mood and a reduction in depressive symptoms.
Improving Sleep Quality
A good night’s sleep is essential for overall mental well-being. Lack of sleep can contribute to mood swings, cognitive impairment, and increased risk of developing mental health disorders.
Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality, helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Physical activity increases body temperature, and the subsequent drop in body temperature after exercise can promote sleepiness. Additionally, regular exercise can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle, ensuring a more restful and rejuvenating sleep.
Enhancing Overall Mental Well-being
Regular exercise has numerous benefits for mental well-being beyond just reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and improving sleep quality.
Physical activity can help boost self-esteem and body image, as it allows you to feel more in control of your body and improve your physical appearance. Exercise also provides a sense of accomplishment and can act as a distraction from negative thoughts or worries.
Moreover, engaging in exercise with others, such as joining a sports team or fitness class, can provide social support and help combat feelings of isolation or loneliness.
In conclusion, exercise is not only good for your physical health but also plays a crucial role in enhancing mental well-being. By releasing endorphins, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, improving sleep quality, and promoting overall mental well-being, exercise can have a profound impact on your mood and overall quality of life.
Increased Energy Levels
Engaging in regular physical activity can have a significant impact on your energy levels and combat fatigue. When you participate in exercise, it triggers various physiological responses in your body that contribute to increased energy, vitality, and alertness throughout the day.
Improved Blood Flow and Oxygen Delivery
One of the key ways exercise boosts your energy is by improving blood flow and oxygen delivery to your muscles. When you engage in physical activity, your heart pumps more blood, which means that more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your working muscles. This increased blood flow and oxygen supply enhance the efficiency of your muscles and improve their overall function.
Regular exercise also helps in the development of new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. As new blood vessels are formed, your muscles receive an even greater supply of oxygen-rich blood, providing them with an ample amount of fuel to perform optimally. The improved circulation and oxygen delivery result in increased energy levels and reduced feelings of tiredness and fatigue.
Release of Endorphins
Physical activity prompts the release of endorphins, which are known as the “feel-good” hormones. These endorphins interact with receptors in your brain, triggering positive feelings and reducing stress and anxiety. As a result, exercise can boost your mood and energy levels, making you feel more vibrant and motivated throughout the day.
The release of endorphins during exercise also has a positive impact on your sleep quality. It helps regulate your circadian rhythm, which is essential for getting a restful night’s sleep. When you sleep well, you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, with higher energy levels to tackle the day ahead.
Engaging in physical activity can act as a powerful stress reducer, which can significantly impact your energy levels. Regular exercise helps to lower levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, while increasing the production of feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. As a result, you experience reduced levels of fatigue and a boost in energy.
Exercise also provides a healthy and productive outlet for managing stress. Instead of turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms like overeating or substance abuse, physical activity allows you to channel your energy into something positive and beneficial for your overall well-being. By engaging in regular exercise, you give your mind a break from daily stressors, which in turn increases your energy levels and promotes a sense of calmness and clarity.
Mental and Cognitive Benefits
Apart from the physical benefits, exercise also has a significant impact on your mental and cognitive abilities. Regular physical activity has been linked to improved cognitive function, enhanced memory, and increased focus and concentration. By engaging in regular exercise, you can combat mental fatigue and boost your overall mental energy and alertness.
Exercise stimulates the release of growth factors in the brain, which promote the formation of new neurons and the development of new connections between brain cells. This leads to improved brain function, better information processing, and enhanced mental sharpness.
Incorporating Exercise into Your Routine
To reap the benefits of increased energy levels through exercise, it is important to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
You can try activities such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing. Alternatively, you can engage in strength training exercises at least two days a week to improve muscle function and endurance.
Remember to start gradually if you’re new to exercise or have been inactive for a while. Listen to your body, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as you build up your fitness levels. Consistency is key for sustaining the energy-boosting effects of exercise.
Better Cognitive Function
When it comes to the health and well-being of our brains, exercise has a powerful impact. Numerous studies have shown that engaging in regular physical activity can improve cognitive function and memory, helping to keep our brains sharp and functioning optimally.
One of the ways exercise benefits cognitive function is by promoting the growth of new neurons. Neurons are the cells responsible for transmitting information in the brain, and the growth of new neurons, known as neurogenesis, plays a crucial role in maintaining brain health. Exercise has been found to increase the production of molecules that support neurogenesis, leading to the growth of new neurons in key areas of the brain.
Additionally, exercise has been shown to improve the connections between neurons. These connections, known as synapses, are essential for transmitting signals and forming networks of communication in the brain. By engaging in physical activity, we stimulate the release of neurotrophic factors, which help to strengthen existing synapses and promote the formation of new connections between neurons. This enhanced connectivity can result in improved cognitive function, including better memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.
Furthermore, exercise has been found to increase blood flow to the brain. By engaging in cardiovascular activities, such as running or cycling, we boost the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to brain cells. This increased blood flow nourishes the brain and provides it with the energy it needs to function effectively. It also helps to remove waste products from brain tissue, reducing the risk of cognitive decline.
Regular exercise has also been linked to a reduction in the risk of developing cognitive disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. By promoting the growth of new neurons, strengthening synaptic connections, and improving cerebral blood flow, exercise acts as a protective factor for the brain. It helps to create a cognitive reserve, enhancing the brain’s ability to withstand the effects of aging and neurological damage.
It is important to note that exercise does not have to be intense or strenuous to reap these cognitive benefits.
The key is to engage in regular exercise and find activities that you enjoy, as consistency is key when it comes to reaping the long-term benefits for brain health.
In conclusion, exercise is a powerful tool for enhancing cognitive function and improving brain health. By promoting the growth of new neurons, strengthening synaptic connections, increasing blood flow, and reducing the risk of cognitive disorders, regular physical activity can help keep our brains sharp and functioning optimally. So, lace up your sneakers, hit the gym, or take that yoga class – your brain will thank you!
Exercise: A Natural Stress Reliever
In today’s fast-paced world, stress has become an inevitable part of our lives. From work pressures to personal challenges, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. That’s why finding effective ways to relieve stress is so important. One of the most powerful stress-relieving tools at our disposal is exercise.
Exercise has numerous physical and mental health benefits, and one of the key advantages is its ability to alleviate stress and tension. Engaging in physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins, which are often referred to as the “feel-good” hormones. These endorphins act as natural stress relievers, helping to improve overall well-being.
The Endorphin Effect:
During exercise, the body releases endorphins into the bloodstream. These chemicals interact with receptors in the brain, triggering a positive feeling. The release of endorphins not only helps reduce stress levels but also improves mood and increases energy levels.
Moreover, the benefits of endorphins extend beyond the immediate post-exercise period. Regular exercise can lead to long-term changes in the brain, increasing the production of endorphins even when you’re not working out. This means that incorporating exercise into your daily routine can have lasting stress-relieving effects.
A Distraction from Daily Worries:
Engaging in physical activity can also provide a much-needed distraction from daily worries. When we exercise, we shift our focus from our problems to the present moment. Whether it’s going for a run, practicing yoga, or playing a sport, exercise allows us to shift our attention away from our stressors and focus on the physical sensations of the activity.
This distraction effect can help clear the mind and provide a temporary escape from the pressures of life. It creates a sense of flow, where you become fully absorbed in the activity and lose track of time.
Boosting Cognitive Function:
When we engage in physical activity, our brains receive increased blood flow and oxygen, leading to improved cognitive performance. This can enhance our ability to think clearly, problem-solve, and manage stress more effectively.
- improved memory
By giving our brains a break from constant stress and providing them with the oxygen and nutrients they need, we can better cope with the challenges we face.
Participating in group exercise classes or team sports can provide opportunities for social interaction and connection. It can help build friendships, boost self-confidence, and provide a sense of belonging.
One of the key advantages of participating in group exercise classes or team sports is the opportunity to meet new people and form friendships.
These shared experiences and goals can create a strong sense of camaraderie and lead to the development of meaningful relationships.
Moreover, participating in group exercise or team sports can boost self-confidence. When you engage in physical activities with others, you have the chance to showcase your skills and abilities. Whether it’s scoring a goal in a soccer game or nailing a challenging yoga pose, these achievements can give you a sense of pride and self-assurance. Additionally, being part of a team or class can provide encouragement and support, which further enhances your confidence levels.
Furthermore, group exercise and team sports provide a sense of belonging. When you are part of a fitness class or sports team, you become part of a community. You share experiences, challenges, and victories with your teammates or classmates, creating a bond that goes beyond the exercise or the sport itself. This sense of belonging can have a powerful impact on your overall well-being and can contribute to your mental health.
Participating in group exercise classes or team sports also offers the opportunity to learn valuable social skills. You have to communicate, cooperate, and collaborate with others to achieve common goals.
These experiences can help you develop skills such as;
- effective communication
These are not only helpful in fitness or sports settings but also in various other aspects of life.
In conclusion, participating in group exercise classes or team sports is not just about physical fitness, but it also provides numerous social benefits. It allows you to meet new people, form friendships, boost self-confidence, and foster a sense of belonging.
So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your social connections while staying active and healthy, consider joining a group exercise class or a team sport.
You may find yourself achieving your fitness goals, and gaining valuable social experiences and connections along the way.
Research has linked regular exercise to increased longevity.
It can help prevent age-related decline in physical and mental health, and improve overall quality of life as we age.
As we journey through life, one thing becomes increasingly clear – the importance of maintaining our health and well-being. It is no secret that exercise plays a pivotal role in this regard.
This keeps us physically fit and active, and also has a profound impact on our mental health and longevity.
Preventing age-related decline
As we grow older, our bodies undergo various changes, and we often witness a decline in physical functioning.
However, engaging in regular exercise can help slow down this process and even prevent age-related declines. Exercise helps to maintain muscle mass, flexibility, and bone density, which are all crucial for our overall physical functioning.
Furthermore, exercise has been found to boost our cognitive abilities and help prevent cognitive decline. Physical activity stimulates the production of hormones that promote brain health and increases blood flow to the brain.
Research has shown that improving memory, learning, and decision-making skills reduces the risk of age-related cognitive impairments.
Enhancing quality of life
Regular exercise not only extends our lifespan but also improves the overall quality of our lives as we age.
Engaging in physical activity releases endorphins, also known as “feel-good” hormones, which elevate our mood and reduce the risk of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Additionally, exercise plays a crucial role in preventing chronic conditions that often arise with age, such as;
- cardiovascular disease
By maintaining a healthy weight, reducing inflammation, and improving cardiovascular health, regular exercise lowers the risk of these conditions and allows us to lead vibrant and fulfilling lives well into our golden years.
Types of exercise for longevity
When it comes to exercise for longevity, it is important to find activities that we enjoy and sustain over time.
This might include a combination of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, flexibility exercises, and balance training.
Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, or dancing help to improve heart health, increase stamina, and burn calories. Strength training exercises, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands, help to build and maintain muscle mass, which is crucial for overall strength and mobility.
Flexibility exercises like yoga or stretching help to improve joint range of motion and prevent injuries.
Finally, balance training exercises such as tai chi or yoga can help improve stability and reduce the risk of falls, which can be particularly beneficial as we age.
To sum it up, regular exercise is a powerful tool for promoting longevity and preserving our physical and mental health.
It helps prevent age-related declines, enhances our quality of life, and reduces the risk of chronic conditions.
By finding joy in physical activity and incorporating it into our daily lives, we can reap the numerous benefits and enjoy a long, healthy, and fulfilling life.
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