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How Paddle Boarding Helped My Mental Health

by Alexs Smith |

 

When I first got into paddleboarding, I had no idea how beneficial it would be not only to my physical health but to my mental health as well.

As someone who suffers with anxiety, spending time outdoors is crucial for my mental health, I love being up mountains, but there’s something about being in the water that makes me feel totally relaxed. The overall sense of freedom that I get from it leaves me with a sense of calming satisfaction.

Paddleboarding is becoming more and more popular, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a safe, low-impact sport that people of all ages and skill levels can take part in, plus a great way to meet new, like-minded people.

Across the globe, we’re seeing an increase in mental health problems, particularly in millennials and Gen Z’s. As a result, I think it’s so important to highlight how beneficial the outdoors can be in helping to tackle issues like anxiety and depression. Scientific studies have shown that simply being near bodies of water can reduce these symptoms, combined with the obvious benefits of exercise, paddle boarding makes an excellent choice for anyone who suffers from either of these conditions.

Anyone that suffers with anxiety knows that you experience a whole whirlwind of symptoms, both mentally and physically. My symptoms, manifest themselves in sleepless nights, lack of concentration, restlessness, loss of appetite and that nervous, butterfly feeling in your stomach.

Paddleboarding hasn’t completely taken my anxiety away, but it has helped me to manage it a lot better. Out on the water, I’m forced to disconnect from whatever I’ve been stressing or worrying about on land and my mind instead becomes focused on my balance, enjoying the gorgeous views and usually, how cold the water is (it’s Scotland after all). And then, when I’m back home I always feel so much more refreshed and able to focus on what I’m doing and get to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Read more blogs posts from Alexs Smith at Bonnie's Inside Travel Guide.

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