As everyone knows that physical activity helps a lot in keeping a man fit but recent studies have shown that it also helps in reducing stress and tension. Recent studies show that how being mindful during a physical activity can make a big difference on to your mental health.
The title of the study was “Being mindful during a physical activity reduce negative thoughts.” To measure the positive effects of physical activity on mental health, a sampling study was made at Penn State University. Later the study was published on May 9 in the Journal of Psychology of Sports and Exercise.
Almost 158 students from Penn State University took part in the study. All the participants were then asked to download a mobile application named ‘Paco’ on their smartphones. And that app would alert them eight times a day with different questions. The participants would be asked to answer how stressful they were, what was the level of their stress in a specific situation, how focused they were on their current activity and how was their overall mood.
After that researchers gathered data from 14 days and then found a strong association from it. They were able to find out that more active and mindful participants have lower levels of stress and anxiety.
While commenting on the result of the study, David Conroy, the author of it, said that they were able to find a difference between low-mindful people and high-mindful people. And they also found that college students move in and out of the comfort zone a lot in 24 hours.
Kinesiology professor further said that getting into the mindful state helps a lot controlling stress and developing self-confidence. There were a lot of college students who recorded higher levels of anxiety and stress. And from this study, researchers were able to figure out that being mindful, helps in reducing negative mind state and anxiety.
Unfortunately, the study only found the association but not causality. And to get a better an understanding, Chih-Hsiang, the lead researcher of the study, then conducted another research which includes older adults as well. Later the Penn State graduate said that he wanted to get more detailed results and that’s why he conducted the 2nd research. People with an average age of 73 were asked to walk outside and then asked to try mindfulness while walking. They were also asked to pay close attention to their surroundings and their own sensations.
The results of the 2nd research were also fruitful as the participants reported less stress and anxiety while being in a mindful state. Later it was confirmed that this research will get published in “Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.”
Hsiang, after the research, said that not everyone has the ability to be in the state of mindfulness for a longer period of time and the reason for this includes different factors like age and daily routine. But he said that being mindful while walking around can have a lot of positive effects.
The lead researcher said that being active at any time has already a lot of benefits but being mindful at the same time has amplified effects. Conroy said that if someone is looking to reduce the stress and anxiety, it is ideal to remain active and mindful at the same time. This drill is best suited for those who do not like to exercise or any intense physical activity, the professor added.
A report was published by American College Health Association, in which it was stated that almost half of the college students suffer from depression and anxiety every year. The college students were taken into account as they move around to attend the classes and other activities, so the researchers wanted to know that was there any association between mindfulness and reduction in depression.
The researchers said that in future they will use more technologies like accelerometers to record more data about the individuals suffering from depression and anxiety.