Exactly how Exercising turns on our Happiness. {Infographic}

Via Lynn Hasselberger
on Feb 15, 2014
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“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”

~ Plato

It’s no surprise that exercising is good for us. But can it really make us happy?

In my experience, exercise has made me happy-er than I would be otherwise. I feel like a million bucks after a good run or a yoga class and get downright cranky when something like sickness or an unexpected event gets in my way.

Scientifically speaking, exercise creates chemical responses in the brain, which lead to both temporary and long term mental health benefits. It’s a bit of a no-brainer, right?

This infographic illustrates how it all works…

The Happiness Effect: How Exercise Makes You Happy

Does exercising make you happy? Please share you experience in the comments section!


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Is Too Much Exercise Keeping You From Losing Weight? 

Forget the Gym! Here’s Exercise That’s Actually Practical. {Video}


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Editor: Bryonie Wise


About Lynn Hasselberger

Lynn Hasselberger is co-founder of GDGD Radio; The Green Divas Managing Editor; and Producer of The Green Divas Radio Show. She's also a mom, writer and award-winning cat-herder who lives in Chicagoland. Sunrises, running, yoga, lead-free chocolate and comedy are just a few of her fave things. In her rare moments of spare time, she blogs at myEARTH360.com and LynnHasselberger.com. A treehugger and social media addict, you'll most likely find Lynn on twitter (@LynnHasselbrgr @GreenDivaLynn & @myEARTH360), instagram and facebook. She hopes to make the world a better place, have more fun, re-develop her math skills and overcome her fear of public speaking. Like her writing? Subscribe to her posts.


15 Responses to “Exactly how Exercising turns on our Happiness. {Infographic}”

  1. debaumer says:

    Nice graphics. I've read this many, many times. As someone who has dealt with severe depression for many years, I know that exercise – even repeated, regular exercise – does not, necessarily contribute to a happier mood. It's something I hear over and over again from well-meaning friends and doctors and yet, I've tried months of regular exercise that have absolutely no effect on the way I feel (in combination with other things, as well). So, while *technically* exercise may move all the chemicals in the right place to help alleviate depression, it doesn't work for everyone.

  2. Debbie says:

    Thanks for this; so informative and the graphics are awesome. The physical exertion and mental alertness after any kind of exercise, especially walking & running, feels amazing! Helps to elevate my mental state & cast out unproductive moods as well. When you purposely choose to be positive, think & speak, casting down self defeating thoughts and “pity & woe is me” parties the moment they begin to formulate in your thought process, the happier a person you become. But it takes work. Being on guard and aware of your thoughts. Just like losing weight is a process, so is getting out of any mental funk, or whatever name you give it. But the outcome is quite an invigorating one. Your outlook on life and perspective changes. Those around you will see the physical and personal changes as you carry yourself and interact with others. Of course there are people that may need medical attention if after they have honestly taken such steps are still afflicted by depressive moods. But not all afflicted with depressive moods require medication.

  3. Ana says:

    So problem must be somewhere else… Maybe you have some allergies? I know that gluten food can result in depression. it is always worth checking.

  4. Amy says:

    Excellent article. Great information and graphics. Thanks for posting!

  5. jgirl says:

    Staying active physically especially walking outdoors in nature has been an important part of my recover from and preventing further depression. Other factors have been important such as cultivating a positive attitude, friends and meaningful activities such as volunteering.

  6. Sorry to hear exercise doesn't work for you to alleviate depression. Agree with Ana… have you been tested for allergies? Have you tried to change your diet? Of course, even with exercise, some people may need medication. I find that exercise helps me but I still need a low dose of anti-depressants. Hope you're able to figure out something that works for you!

  7. Glad you found this information helpful, Debbie! And definitely… some people need more than just exercise (myself included!) and I should have noted that after the infographic. Cheers!

  8. Thanks for checking it out, Amy!

  9. Glad to hear, jgirl! There are so many factors feeding into depression. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

  10. ong kah yong says:

    I will be more benefit if we are mindful in whatever things we do.

  11. Rolando Garcia says:

    I think just a small walk makes difference

    I remember in difficult situations in life go for a walk and worries just go away

    Is very pleasant and free

    Everyone must try it .. Just walk for half hour few days in a row and you will fell much better

  12. Debra says:

    Have you ever read " the Mood Cure"? I found it to be very useful.

  13. Redrover8 says:

    I agree exercise makes a huge difference but most people don't know how to exercise so group classes or hiring a trainer are good ways to go. Along with allergies vitamin d3 levels can have a strong affect on mood – I supplement 3000 units daily and have been told I can go to 5000 units – also b12 (read the label though – it needs to be methylcombalamin) is a great supplement as with depression you often have fatigue and this fights it

  14. Jennifer says:

    I have been feeling un-inspired, un-motivated & kind of un-happy at work, home and while doing things I normally love. I've put on weight, can't get it off with a good diet. I know that exercise is the missing component…but it is difficult to get past the lack of motivation.
    Thanks for this article. Just what I needed to read.

  15. Andrew says:

    Exercising outdoors is away to boost vitamins d, and other stimulants provided by nature, which plays a huge part in regulating your serotonin levels, this helps a lot with “depression” , along with a great group atmosphere human contact is another great stimulant to elevate mood, and believe it or not the grass also stimulates human chemistry as it grounds you. – hope this helps as it has helped me.