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The Mental Health Benefits of Playing a Team Sport

The Mental Health Benefits of Playing a Team Sport

Playing sport is well known for its ability to improve physical health as exercise can build stronger bones and muscles, lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. But not many people realise how beneficial it can be for your mental health. Regardless of skill level, joining a sporting team is the perfect way to work out your social muscles and take care of your wellbeing. And especially with the toll that Covid-19 took on many people's mental health, now is the perfect time to become apart of a team and expand your support network.

Living in a sport-obsessed country, most people are familiar with playing a team sport when they were young. School gave many kids the opportunity to discover their talents for different sports but also create friendships through these as well. Unfortunately, many Australians stop playing team sports once they reach adulthood. Whether life gets in the way, or you feel like you’ve grown out of it, team sports offer a world of benefits, so you should make the effort to join. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy it and if you’re not keen on the competitive side there are plenty of casual competitions you can join.

So, what are the mental health benefits of playing a team sport?

Relieves Feelings of Depression and Anxiety

When you play sport, your body releases endorphins which are stimulated by physical activity. These are naturally occurring chemicals in your brain that can keep depression and anxiety at bay by improving your mood and making you feel more relaxed and optimistic. This all leads to you feeling happier, more positive and calmer after you finish a game or training session. 

Social Interaction

The main benefit that teams sports have over individual is the social interaction. Being part of a team is fantastic for your wellbeing as you can create lasting friendships and it adds a support network that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Playing a team sport facilitates human connection which is such an important factor in maintaining good mental health.

Improved Sleep

Playing a sport and other forms of exercise helps you get a better night’s sleep. It does this by helping you fall asleep quicker and deepening your sleep, making your mind and body ready for a good night’s rest. We all know how important sleep is to our overall wellbeing as it can improve your mental outlook as well as your mood.

De-Stressor

Sport can help you manage stress as it forces you to apply yourself completely to the task at hand, leaving behind thoughts and concerns you have been worrying over beforehand. When you are active, your mind is distracted from your daily stressors, this can prevent you from getting bogged down by negative thoughts. Aside from the physical distraction, playing a team sport provides, as mentioned earlier, endorphins that also help you de-stress as the chemicals in your brain relieve pain and stress.

Playing a team sport calms your mind, strengthens your muscles, and improves your overall wellbeing. Get out there and find a sport that suits you and start receiving these benefits in your life. 


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