The Effect of Sports on Mental Health

The Effect of Sports on Mental Health

Giuliana Carmosino

Sports taking over the brain


If you have ever played a sport, then you can understand how stressful it can be. It can be extremely tolling to play a sport, not only on the body but also on the mind. A sport comes with injuries small and big, mental games and roadblocks, unsupportive coaches and teammates, and body issues. There are a wide variety of issues that can present themselves while playing a sport, and today we will be discussing some of these issues today. 

The Positives

Although there can be many downsides to playing a sport, there are also immense positives that come with it. Playing a sport is more than just practices and games, it is a whole community of people coming together to make something happen. It is a family aspect when you play a sport, you are not only gaining friends but you are gaining a family. Sports have shown that they can…

  • Boost your mood
  • Reduce depression and anxiety 
  • Improve concentration and focus
  • Better quality of sleep
  • Improve social skills

Along with these examples above, there are so many other benefits of playing sports, for both your physical and mental health. Physical activity produces endorphins, which are the body’s natural “happy chemical.” Physical activity also allows for less Cortisol to be released, which is the body’s stress hormone. Sports are associated with lower rates of stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal behavior

The Negatives

Although there are many positives that come along with sports, there are also a fair amount of negative effects that can affect both your mental and physical health. Perfectionism is a serious problem that is seen in the world of sports. It includes fear of failure, external and internal pressures, and high expectations for performance. Individuals who show perfectionism in a sport have a greater risk of burning out and developing a mental health concern and diagnosis, such as anxiety, depression, problems eating, and also substance abuse and misuse. There are also many physical health concerns with athletes all over, including injuries small and large as well as the physical strain that sports can have on your body.

People play sports for all different reasons, possibly to keep control of their health, to meet new friends, or to get into shape? No matter the reason that you are interested in playing sports, it is very important to know and understand the effects that it can have on your body, physically, and most importantly what the mental effects can be because of a sport.