I always look forward to the fall season of the year. This is because the bowling league I am on begins. I love bowling. It has had a positive impact on my mental health. In my teenage years, it was soccer and wish I could participate in that sport today. I want to share with you how sports, in particular bowling, has helped with my mental health.
It’s well known that any kind of exercise helps improve one’s mental health. The real issue for someone struggling with a mental illness is getting the motivation to start moving. I have gained quite a bit of weight from the time bowling ended in April till now. I have tried multiple times to work out during that time and could not quite get myself to do it.
Now that the league has begun so does the weight loss. Not because of bowling once a week since we all know that little bit of exercise will not be the cause for the loss of weight. It’s because I will now work out so that I can continue to improve my game. I will get stronger along with losing the weight. As my game improves so does my desire to continue the weight loss. This in return dramatically improves my mental health.
One of the real struggles with mental illness is the feeling that no cares about you or no one will miss you. Even though I know that this is false, I still struggle with that feeling from time to time. With bowling, I am reminded each week how much the other bowlers enjoy me being there. It’s not just my team I get this from. I get this reminder from a lot of the bowlers on other teams. The previous bowling season is a great example of this.
Last year I had to take off the first half of the season because I needed to rehab the knee I injured. It sucked but I was also in a lot of pain. When I finally came back, everyone was asking me where I was and what had happened. Then towards the end of the season, my grandmother passed away. When I showed up the following week, so many people came up to me to share their condolences and asked how I was doing. It’s a great feeling and reminder to know that others enjoy my presence.
These are the best reminders because they are stored in memory and I also have them at home to look at almost every day. I have kept awards that I won from previous employment. This is to remind me that my peers felt I was the one that deserved it most. This is a wonderful feeling especially when you don’t think you deserve it. No matter what your current struggles may be, you always deserve the positive things that happen it your life.
Then there are the ones I earned from bowling. I have bowled 2 perfect games (300’s), been part of a team that won the league championship and also proof of my personal best series. This is to remind me that I can accomplish anything with hard work, dedication and patience. I have learned a lot about bowling to improve my game.
Here’s an example of the positive impact of sports
There are so many other examples I could share with you. The positive impact sports played in those 2 examples is astounding. You can’t miss the positive impact on their mental health either. If you like playing sports and can’t get yourself out of bed or off the couch, then I suggest you narrow down your list of sports to just one. One that you enjoy playing so much that you are still excited to do it even when you are not playing your best. It doesn’t matter to me whether I bowl a 148 game or a 248 game.
What really matters is that I am in a situation that gets me away from my depression, even it is just once a week. This is the first and most important step for us to overcome our struggles. If we don’t change our situation or surroundings, then nothing else we do will have the impact we desire and need. Until my next post…Share. Inspire. Conquer.