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How Can Golf Reduce Stress and Improve Mental Health?

We all know that a day on the golf course can burn calories, improve social wellbeing and give you a sense of achievement. But did you know that playing golf can also reduce your stress levels and improve your overall mental health?
In the last year, 74% of UK residents have reported experiencing stress, and over half have reported feeling depressed and/or anxious. It’s certainly not an uncommon health problem, but still one that’s not talked about nearly enough.
The good news is, taking to the golf course on a regular basis can have a positive effect on mental health, as we’ll explain in this week’s blog post.
What is stress?
We’ve all felt stress at some point. It’s a common reaction to a particularly demanding or difficult event, such as workplace challenges, family bereavement or exam pressures. And we all feel it uniquely, so it can be tricky to pinpoint stress as one specific experience. Typically, a person experiencing stress has entered what’s known as ‘fight or flight’ mode, a physical and emotional experience that causes the person to feel agitated, sweaty, flustered, unhappy, alert and restless. But these aren’t the only symptoms. For more information on the many ways you can feel and deal with stress, click here.
How can stress impact your life?
Aside from being an unpleasant experience, stress can have an impact on your environment, such as your workplace, family life and recreational activities. If stress is impacting your concentration, you may miss details at work and suffer a poorer performance. If you’re feeling agitated and alert, your sleep might be affected, leaving you feeling even worse the next day. While stress is common in small doses, prolonged periods of stress can cause you to become run down and physically unwell, and in extreme cases may cause you to miss important events, isolate yourself and even stop working. So, the effects of stress should not be understated.
How can golf reduce your stress levels?
There are many ways that golf can decrease stress levels. For one, physical activity in general has, for a long time, been linked to better mental health. Even 20 minutes of physical activity every week can have profoundly positive effects. When you’re playing golf, you’re participating in plenty of walking, bending, swinging and reaching, which more than meets your weekly quota for exercise. In fact, the average golfer walks around 4 miles per session.
But that’s not all there is to it. Golf, unlike many other sports, is relaxing and involves mental concentration and focus. Creating strategies, perfecting timing and measuring distances are all key components to the game. These processes distract you from the stress you’re feeling, giving your body and mind a break from its negative effects. And, speaking of mental focus, golf has also been linked to a reduced likeliness of developing dementia!
As well as the physical exercise and mental focus involved in the sport, the actual environment you’re playing golf in also plays a role in stress reduction. Being surrounded by beautiful green grass, trees, open spaces and fresh air can make you feel instantly better than you did before arriving at the course. Interestingly, numerous studies have shown people have higher tolerance and wellbeing levels when they can see nature around them, which is something PlayMoreGolf offers every single time, no matter where you play!
But at PlayMoreGolf, we want to make golf an even more convenient, relaxing and accessible game. And that’s where its flexibility comes in. We know you might have a busy schedule, a family to support and hobbies and commitments that need seeing to. Giving you the option to play golf flexibly means you can have a better work-life balance, sense of control and enjoyment for the game. So, whether you’re going through a stressful period in life, or want to take proactive steps to keep your stress levels down and improve your overall mental wellbeing, PlayMoreGolf can help. Sign up to our flexible membership today by clicking here.