5 best mental health benefits of playing golf regularly
Golf is one of those sports that people either love or hate. There’s no denying that golf can get quite expensive. However, people who love the sport become avid and passionate golfers. Golfers often try to make time to enjoy their favorite sport at least once a week, if they can manage.
Golf offers many benefits. There are physical benefits, and then, of course, you get the mental benefits — which are plenty in this sport.
As a sport, golf can bring mental peace and clarity that is no doubt welcome in these uncertain times. If you’re wondering what other benefits you might see from playing golf, read on to find out!
Golf Can Reduce Anxiety and Stress
A 2018 study talks about the physical benefits of playing the game. You get cardiovascular benefits since it does help to walk through the golf course while you play. What many people might not always realize, however, is that golf can also bring the mental benefit of a reduction in anxiety levels.
The social aspect of golf, coupled with its moderate physical activity, can help bring about a mental sense of well-being. The result? You may feel your anxiety ease up just a little.
As an entertaining pastime, golf also makes a fantastic way to reduce stress. The best part is it’s a sport that’s played outdoors — and time spent in the sun can positively impact mental health.
Golf Might Help You Feel Less Depressed
You probably already know how exercise can bring endorphins that help make people happier. That’s essentially why the term “runner’s high” exists. But how does that work for a less strenuous exercise like golf?
Golf is a sport that requires moderate effort and activity. It hardly seems as though it would provide the same level of endorphins that something more intense like running might.
However, a study covered by Scientific American talks about how moderate-intensity exercise, or even simple walking, can help improve quality of life and lessen the effects of depression somehow. Of course, the study was done on middle-aged women, but that doesn’t mean that others can’t reap the benefits, too.
Golf Can Be a Form of Therapy
A twelve-person study was conducted on individuals suffering from substance use and mental health disorders where the research conductors used golf as a form of therapy.
The study examined any perceived effects that golf may have had on the participants’ physical and mental health. It also took a closer look at the impact on daily activities and social contact.
The findings were optimistic, revealing that golf had a positive impact on participants’ health and well-being. Positive changes were also seen in their day-to-day activities and the social aspect of their lives.
Golf Can Offer Positive Social Interaction
Social interaction is an essential aspect of any person’s life. It can play a pivotal role in a person’s general sense of well-being in many cases. Spending quality time with people — whether new or long-time friends or family — can simply feel good.
Socialization offers many benefits. For one, it prevents people from feeling lonely, which on its own can trigger or worsen depressive episodes. Positive in-person interactions can help improve mental health by lightening a person’s mood enough to perhaps make them feel happy.
Positive social interaction can also promote a welcome sense of belonging, safety, and security. It allows a person to have someone to confide in, so they won’t feel like they are bearing the world on their shoulders.
Golf is a social sport — playing regularly can allow you to make and keep friends that can last a lifetime. Quality time spent on the course while riding around in the best golf carts can make for the best memories sometimes.
Golf Can Help You Practice Positive Mental Habits
Golf is a sport that involves a lot of mental fortitude and focus. Golf means staying focused for hours, accepting mistakes and bad shots, remaining confident, and being able to brush off frustration as it comes. Golf can also teach patience and discipline as you line up and make sure everything is perfect before taking your shot.
Developing those skills and practicing them daily can positively help mental health. It can also help set you up for a better day-to-day, especially since all of those skills are transferable to any other aspect of life.
Golf may be a sport with a challenging learning curve, but there’s no denying the many healthy living benefits it can bring. It’s not the most accessible sport to get into, but there’s no doubt it can help improve your quality of life!