It is proven that exercise and a healthy lifestyle improve a person’s health significantly, so it’s no surprise that playing golf can be beneficial to your mental health, too. Some of the countless things to gain from playing golf include reduced stress levels, a lowered risk of depression and minimised anxiety.
Furthermore, golf is not only a social sport that can help people feel part of a community, but it is an outdoor activity which exposes a person to natural elements such as light and plants, which is beneficial to anyone’s mental health.
Why Choose Golf to Improve Mental Health?
Golf is a sport that most can play, as it is not incredibly strenuous on the body and with the assistance of golf caddies and buggies, virtually anyone can take up the sport! Often, golf is played in especially scenic locations and with the chance of wildlife interactions, too. All of these aspects can assist in the improvement of a person’s mental health.
Top 5 Benefits of Playing Golf for Mental Health
Here are the top 5 ways that golf can improve a person’s mental health.
- Learning a New Skill
Learning or conquering a new skill not only improves a person’s brain memory but can assist in boosting self-esteem. Golf is a sport, like many others, that takes time to conquer and reach the level that makes a person feel satisfied, however, having a goal will help a person’s well-being and mental health considerably. This will also strengthen a person’s confidence as they master the challenges, little by little.
- Decreases Stress and Anxiety
According to an article by the Mental Health Institution, UK, in 2018, 74% of Brits faced some kind of stress-related issue, which is why people must find an appropriate activity to assist in decreasing stress. Yes, like most sports there are stressful aspects, too, such as learning and failing to get the right swing, however, when taken in the form of a hobby it’s just not quite the same stress as work or other life pressures.
Golf can help reduce stress levels as the sport is played in a green space for anywhere between 3-5 hours, which makes it ideal for keeping the mind active and busy. Furthermore, it is played in many different types of landscapes and at a pace suitable to each player which can help reduce anxiety levels.
- Increased Social Interaction
Golf is the perfect sport for people looking to increase their social interactions, as it allows people to interact with friends or other like-minded people across different generations, too. This is one way to enhance a person’s mental health as it can also help establish a sense of belonging as people integrate into the golfing community. It is important to mention that the British Heart Foundation states that people who socialise over the age of 60 reduce their chances of getting dementia.
- A Form of Therapy
Technically speaking, it is not therapy, however, it can improve mental health and well-being due to the release of dopamine from playing golf. As the ‘feel-good’ hormone is released in competitive situations and during socialisation. The game allows people to step outside, improve their skills and embrace a change of pace which can help settle an over-stressed mind.
- Mental Workout
Playing golf means that you must stay focused and keep your composure for the entirety of the game, as you strategise your next shots, giving you a mental workout. Due to the pace of the game, there is plenty of time for players to plan their game, which can include thinking about shot accuracy, speed and distance.