Swimming has long been a passion of mine. It requires focus and strength in our bodies and minds. Therefore, swimming is intrinsically linked to strengthening the muscles in our physical bodies, but even more importantly, swimming improves mental health.

Reflecting upon the peace and joy that one feels while doing something that we are passionate about leads to gratitude and perseverance.

Knowing that you have an activity that you can count on in relieving your stress or worries adds a sense of hope to your day. In turn, this hope can help become a coping skill to stressors of our everyday lives.

This article will present 3 specific ways in which swimming increases our physical and mental performance, as well as creating a positive, long-term impact on our mental health.

Here are 3 reasons why Swimming Improves Mental Health and Physical Performance

[:en]3 reasons why swimming improves mental health[:]

1) Provides Mental Focus

When you are swimming, your mind is focused. You are focused on maintaining your breath, your speed and your pace. You are focused on keeping form and maybe even competing.

[:en]Swimming and mental focus[:]

Take notice the next time you are swimming -what are the specific physical aspects your mind is focused on?

After doing so, reflect on just how powerful the act of swimming can be, in getting your mind to simply focus on the task at hand.

Once you start continually assessing and noticing how your body and mind react to simple tasks that you are doing, think about how you can apply that focus to tasks outside of swimming, as well.

Again, we are making an effort to build both our physical and mental strength, which helps to improve our overall mental health.

2) Increases Endorphin Release

Any form of exercise can increase endorphins—the magic “feel-good” stuff. Endorphins help our bodies to feel good by stimulating our central nervous system.

[:en]Endorphins help us feel good[:]

They improve our memory and actually increase neuron growth within our brain. Endorphins also help to improve the ways in which we cope with stress.

If every time we feel stressed and are able to swim, we are effectively creating a coping mechanism to face our stressors—thereby, improving our physical and mental health.

With the added bonus of endorphins improving our cognitive functioning and health, we are able to improve our focus, therefore positively impacting our performance in other areas of our lives.

3) Makes the World Quiet

This is the simplest way in which swimming can improve our physical and mental health.

When we swim, what do you hear? Often times, it is quiet. What other forms of exercise can make you feel weightless, while being quiet, yet physically stimulated?

[:en]Swimming makes our world go quiet[:]

The quietness of the water offers no judgment. You are free to be who you are no matter what. You can focus on noticing your body and how you are feeling while still maintaining focus on the activity at hand.

When you give yourself the love and attention you need through activities like swimming, you are making time for yourself and your mental wellbeing.

Key Takeaways

Try noticing how you are feeling the next time you swim. Notice how you feel in your body and mind right before diving in, and once you are finished.

Sometimes all it takes is giving oneself the space to practice self-awareness to grow.

Swimming helps improve your mental health, as well as your physical performance, through providing mental focus, releasing endorphins in your body, and making your world quieter.

To find out more about Confidence, Productivity, and Happiness, go ahead and download the Mindshine App (iOS or Android) or read the Magazine.

Learn more about How to turn positive stress into personal growth or How to boost the immune system.