- Increased flexibility
- Reduces likelihood of injury
- Reduces back pain
- Improves balance and coordination
- Increases energy level
- Improves circulation
- Improves posture
- Promotes relaxation and stress relief
From a behavioral health perspective, “stretching” in our lives is important. We can become stuck in our routine and get more sedentary which places us at risk of physical, cognitive and emotional decline. Major Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States for ages 15-44. The statistics vary depending on the agency, survey and type of survey; but, about 8% of the US population experience clinical depression in a given year. Lifetime prevalence is often reported around 20% - percentage of all people who will experience clinical depression at some time in their life.
There are effective treatments for depression, but “behavioral activation” is frequently recommended in the course of treatment. This means that a person needs to get “moving” and engage in activities they previously found of interest or that they might find interesting. The person needs to do this whether they “feel” like it or not and they may not for some time, so perseverance is key. Maybe what one used to enjoy is no longer available or they are not physically
- then the task is to take on the adventure of “stretching” and trying out different things with the end goal being the development of new interests.
Get some emotional and behavioral flexibility; find some balance in work and family; increase your social circulation; hold your head up (posture!); and increase your emotional energy (smile on purpose)!
- Read a book/ Research a famous person of history
- Take a gym class/ yoga/ karate
- Attend a social function or sporting event
- Attend a church service
- Visit a museum
- Visit/ call a friend and offer encouragement
- Cook a new recipe
- Take a college course/ audit a class
Happiness (it is impossible to be depressed when you are happy, by the way) is engaging in those activities that you find satisfying and meaningful.
Life is short! It is meant to be lived! Carpe Diem! Stretch yourself!