There is a correlation between sport and mental health, it strengthens determination and perseverance, and provides the body’s tissue with strength. It also benefits the soul and the mind and thus strengthens our determination. It makes one live with a goal, and seek to achieve it, and this is why you see runners persevere to run on long and perhaps abandoned roads for long hours, irrespective of the weather condition. Neither would they be concerned that others are sitting between the walls of their homes motionless. Sport does not only gives us a strong body, but it creates a strong soul, a solid determination, and a mind that’s capable of enduring shocks and pain, and instils in the conscience of its protagonists that “if you are satisfied with a little, you will get a little.”

Many years ago, the famous runner Paul Cummings raised the slogan “Run With Your Heart” as a method of achieving inner and psychological peace. Dean Karnazes, the legend of the American marathon, wrote in his memoir “Confessions of a Runner All Night” that running was a psychological and spiritual treatment, which took him out of the gloom towards good prospects in life, and said: “I run because if I didn’t, I’d be sluggish and glum and spend too much time on the couch. I run to breathe the fresh air. I run to explore. I run to escape the ordinary. I run…to savour the trip along the way. Life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense. I like that.” To those who opposed him that this means taking too much time in training, he said: “Pain is the body’s way of ridding itself of weakness. People think I’m crazy to expose myself to such torture, we seem to have confused comfort with happiness, Dostoevsky was right when he said, “Suffering is the only origin of consciousness.”

Sports is another means for psychotherapy

Sport is vital in psychological treatment, in the prevention of mental illness, as physical activity has a positive impact on mental health. It improves psychological strength, protects against stress, anxiety and depression. It has a role in the psychological and social development of personality. Sport is also often an obstacle to addiction to drugs and intoxicants, as it gives the soul resilience in the face of life fluctuations and failures, improves mood, lowers stress scores, improves sleep, and develops self-esteem.

Resistance to depression is one of the most important positive psychological effects of sports. A US study conducted in 2021 on 70 thousands students in high school proved that congregational sports may be more supportive of mental health than individual sports. Other studies concluded that physical activity has the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs. The effect of exercise lasted longer than the effect of antidepressants, and contributes to ward off adolescent depression. It also reduces anxiety and its symptoms, and field research confirmed that university students, those who exercised, were more motivated and passionate than their less active counterparts, and they were 25 percent less likely to develop anxiety disorders. A regular exercise could help people recover from substance use disorder, and that athletics in adolescence might be a good health reward for the brain.

US studies indicate that sport may contribute to reducing suicide among young people, and it is known that suicide is the third cause of suicide among males at that stage of 15 to 24 years, and the study confirmed that sport provides a measure of social integration for these young people, and it also reduces the gap between idealism and reality, and this is enough to reduce the levels of frustration, and it also gives the young people an opportunity to develop themselves and develop their skills, and this connects them more to life, which reduces the severity of psychological and social pressures and allows to remove the spectre of suicide.

Psychological studies confirm that strong social bonds reduce individual deviation, and sports promote the development of social bonds during adolescence, and provide the identification of influential and effective people, such as coaches and athletes. This makes the young people cling to life and reject the idea of suicide, sport contributes to building personality, through friendships and the development of social and communication skills, and it also earns the person a lot of positive values In American society, for example, some powerful sports, such as baseball and basketball, have reproduced cultural values related to masculinity, endurance and patience, and produced positive slogans among young people, and a study published in the American journal “Psychiatry” in 2018 confirmed that engaging in physical activity in any form for at least one hour each week, can prevent 12% of depressive states.

Other Effects of Sport

Psychologists have been preoccupied with how sports affect the improvement of mental and mental health, and multiple explanations have appeared, including that exercise leads to an increase in heartbeat, and this affects the chemistry of the brain, increasing the body from the secretion of anti-anxiety chemicals, which in turn improves mental health. From the thermal hypothesis, we can see that the heat produced by sports stimulates parts of the brain to feel relaxed and reduce muscle tension, while the endorphin hypothesis claims that exercise contributes to increasing the release of endorphins, which is A hormone associated with a positive mood. Another one is distraction hypothesis and it assumes that physical activity works to distract anxiety and frustrating thoughts. Some studies indicate that distracting activities may be used as a means of dealing with depression, and have significant positive effects in controlling depression more than self-centred activities such as reading. For the self-efficacy hypothesis, it indicates that a person, who possesses skills or can possess them through training, may be enhanced by self-confidence, and become able to restrain Feeling depressed.

However, the most important sports benefit is that it enhances sleeping time and improves its quality that maintains mental and mental health. Psychiatrists recommend having a lifestyle that includes moderate exercise as an effective way to improve sleep, and studies indicate that sports may be practiced for sleep, because it helps to get a good and fast sleep which improves the brain’s chance of regenerating its cells, and leads to stabilizing the mood of the person, and relieving pressure on the mind. This consolidates the validity of the saying “Know your body. Sports distract frustrating thoughts that drip on a person as their sleep approaches, which promotes deep sleep, so research has found that sport can contribute to the treatment of certain sleep disorders, such as insomnia, and “restless leg syndrome (RLS).”