Each July, AAHP observes National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to recognize and address mental health concerns facing Blacks/African Americans. It’s important to know that movement and exercise can benefit mental health. Activities such as jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing have been shown to reduce anxiety and depression by providing distractions from negative thoughts and by triggering the release of endorphins, those wonderful "feel-good" brain chemicals. Just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (like brisk walking) three times a week can make a significant positive impact on an individual’s mental health.
If you're looking for a calming way to lift your mood, give meditative movement a try. Practices like qigong, tai chi, and yoga can help ease depressive symptoms by helping you focus on how your body feels, where it is in space, and your intuitive feelings while you move. To get started, you can join AAHP's yoga classes on Wednesday mornings at 10am.
Learn more about Blacks/African Americans and mental health by reading the "Minority Voices 2022: Our Mental Health Journey" report authored by AAHP, the Latino Health Initiative and the Asian American Health Initiative.