With loneliness being the key focus for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022, here at Rockliffe Hall we're wanting to shine a light on the mental health benefits of playing golf.

Whether you’re a consistent golfer or occasionally like to play, you may or may not be aware, but you are experiencing a host of physical, mental, and social health benefits.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to confront loneliness in a new way. Social distancing restrictions and lockdowns meant many more people faced social isolation and loneliness. We all know what loneliness can feel like but when it is severe or lasts a long time, it can negatively affect our mental health.

Research shows that by playing golf on a regular basis you can boost your mental wellbeing, and we’ve listed some of the reasons below.

Keeping Your Brain Active

Golf is a very cerebral sport, it requires focus, planning moves and exercise strategies. By keeping your brain active and in a thinking mode you can focus more on the game and less on the things that may make you feel anxious or sad about. Been in this mind set can release the feel-good endorphins that can combat anxiety and depression.

Provides Social Interaction

Although you can play golf on your own it can also be a social sport. Older adults may be more prone to feeling lonely or isolated, though it can apply to anyone, so by getting out on the golf course this can really bring people together, whether it be friends, family, or those with a common interest in the sport. It’s really a great way to increase your social circle and make new friends.

Outdoor Benefits

Science says that nature is good for you, going outside, enjoying fresh air, the sun and the rolling green of the golf course is a great way to cheer up. Staying outdoors can also help relax your muscle tension, which will further reduce your stress. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, but it also contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.

Release Your Feel-Good Hormones

When you feel good from all the endorphins you have released, your body and mind become less stressed and more at ease. When playing golf, you must exercise your patience, and with patience comes calmness, when we are relaxed and serene our stress levels can reduce significantly.

Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D in the blood can lead to signs of depression and anxiety. The good news is that your body can produce all the vitamin D it needs, as long as you expose it to the sun. Our skin can produce vitamin D only when you get out in the sun and playing golf will give you plenty of that. If you spend your days inside an office, you might be stressed because of a vitamin D deficiency! Going out for a morning game of golf will refuel your vitamin D reserves and help keep the stress away.

Boosts Your Self-Esteem

Nothing beats the satisfaction of making a difficult shot, golf is a complex but rewarding sport, mastering it will give a huge boost in your confidence and self-esteem. Experienced golfers know all too well that there is joy in improving your skills, it is easy to learn how to golf as the game itself is deceptively simple. However, the techniques are endless and allow for a remarkable depth of play, becoming better at golf can fill you with self-confidence.

For further information on combating loneliness and mental health awareness week, please visit the below.

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