How Golf Can Improve Your Mental Health

Golf is good for your body, naturally, but it can also work wonders for your mind. The benefits of golf are many, as it employs your body, mind, and all of your senses.

Of course, while some training may happen indoors, golf is generally an outdoor activity. The mere act of being outdoors is proven to relieve stress. It awakens your senses in an environment free of the hum of fluorescent lights and the constant ringing of phones, the whirring of washing machines, the noise of TVs and the rumble of city traffic. The quiet is soothing to the mind, and the sun and breeze are calming to the nerves. Birdsong replaces the busyness of the city, and fresh air fills the lungs. You even remember to breathe more deeply, which naturally means you’re receiving more oxygen in one breath which in turn lowers stress levels. Additionally, studies reveal that greens and blues are psychologically calming colors, and of course, those are the two colors that surround you the most.

You’re often going to be in sunlight, which means you’re receiving a good dosage of vitamin D. Much of our modern urban population is low on vitamin D, living most of our lives indoors. Vitamin D has been proven to be directly connected to mood regulation and can help fight anxiety and regulate moods. So soak in that beautiful sunlight!
As mentioned previously, golf involves using your body. It may sound obvious, but the fact that we mostly live our lives indoors means that we also make limited use of our bodies, sitting at our desks for much of the day. Gold can be a relaxing way to activate your muscles to relieve muscle tension and stiffness. Exercise releases endorphins, also known as happy hormones, which lead to an increased sense of well-being.

Playing golf also forces you to disconnect from the digital world and interact directly with other people. In a world ruled by social media, texting, and facetime, it’s kind of ridiculous how little face-to-face time we have with friends or family outside of work. However, while texting can bring momentary comfort, in-person social interaction builds a more solid sense of security and belonging which can’t happen over text. In turn, these bonds help strengthen cognition, and, in fact, help it develop further, reducing the risk of dementia. Additionally, you get the benefit of laughter which lowers cortisol and produces endorphins. And shared laughter is far more potent than laughing to yourself over a meme.

Finally, golf is all about overcoming challenges. This will look different depending on the individual. For some, the challenge stems from a competitive nature. Such players want to keep getting better, pushing past plateaus, training, and perfecting their skills to break their own records and play competitively. For others, golf might be more about the process and about learning both the skills and the discipline. It might be less about competition and more about learning perfection. And so on. Regardless, there will be challenges to overcome and new skills to learn. There will be disappointments and difficulties along the way. You’ll have to discipline yourself to maintain a positive outlook and train yourself in perseverance. All of these things help develop problem-solving and cognitive skills, which keep the mind engaged and boost productivity. Also, every victory along the way will build confidence in oneself and excitement to continue along the way.

On top of that, challenging oneself to overcome difficulties and learn new skills and disciplines, both mental and physical, activates a region of the brain responsible for abstract reasoning and mental flexibility. Studies have shown that exercising this part of the brain helps alleviate anxiety and depression. And when you do find solutions to the challenges, you also receive a healthy dose of dopamine as a reward for your effort. This boost increases confidence and motivates you to push yourself even further.

Altogether, then, the various aspects of how golf engages your mind and body can help you improve your overall mental health. By spending active time outdoors and with people, and challenging yourself along the way, you’ll find yourself gradually becoming less stressed and more satisfied and motivated in your personal life.

Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *