By Joseph Mercola, DO
In Gallup’s 2022 Mood of the Nation survey, only 69% of Americans said they were very or somewhat satisfied with their overall quality of life — down from 84% in January 2020. It’s safe to say that many people could use a mood boost, and there are science backed ways to do so, many of which involve movement. It’s well known that exercise provides benefits to mood, positively affecting anxiety, stress and depression.
Physical activity influences your mental health via a number of physiological and biochemical mechanisms, including effects on endorphins, mitochondria, neurotransmitters and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which may play a role in mood disorders. There may be, however, certain movements in particular that can exact pleasurable feelings like joy.