Table tennis is not only a sport that develops your physical abilities, but it also helps battle the demons you might be facing in your mind. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 5% of adults suffer from depression. Of course, medication can help alleviate the symptoms, but table tennis is a natural remedy that you really should consider.
Table tennis is a blast to play. After only a short while, you’ll feel your mood improve. Table tennis encourages the release of endorphins more so than most sports. And these endorphins cause you to experience euphoria like a runner’s high.
Table tennis also helps increase your serotonin levels. Low serotonin is directly tied to depression — it can make you feel lethargic. As your serotonin levels increase, you’ll feel much happier and experience fewer mood swings.
You’ll also experience greater levels of dopamine by playing table tennis. Dopamine facilitates many processes in the body, and we know it can help fight depression as it improves feelings of pleasure and motivation levels.
Keeps You Driven
Having a goal can be consuming… but in a good way. It’s the reason professional athletes can push themselves so hard to become the best. Of course, it’s unlikely you will place such high demands yourself, but the fact remains.
Having a goal motivates you, and each successive milestone you hit makes you feel better about yourself and pushes you onward. You have to remember that short-term relief is great, but what we’re really after is long-term relief.
Goals give you a reason to keep playing, so it’s highly advisable that you set staggered, achievable goals for yourself. This is the perfect recipe for sustained well-being.
Improves Body Image
A less talked about benefit of table tennis is its effect on your body. Despite appearing relatively mild in terms of intensity, table tennis burns quite a lot of calories. And the better you get, the more you burn.
This, in turn, tones your body and enhances your overall physique. As a result, you feel better about yourself and develop more confidence.
Humans are social creatures and yearn for interaction. Even introverts require a degree of social discourse. And it’s very easy to become isolated from others and trapped in your own bubble. Now so more than ever, with many people working remotely.
The great thing about table tennis is that it encourages social interaction far more than most sports. This is partly because you are only a short distance from your playing partner. As long as you are not playing too hard, you can hold a conversation with one another. This helps you get closer with others in a very informal way with no risk of anxiety.
Another reason table tennis is the king of social sports is that people of all ages can play it. Unlike physically demanding sports such as running and basketball, table tennis is very easy on the joints. And as such, very young and very old players can easily play it.
This helps you interact with a variety of people you would never normally speak with, thus enlarging your social circle. Consequently, it increases your chances of developing strong friendships who you can interact with outside of table tennis and who can help improve your life across the board.
Table tennis is not only a great sport to develop your physical abilities, but it also helps battle depression which many people suffer from. And it does this in many ways, from the release of feel-good endorphins to the setting of goals that give you repeated satisfaction and the motivation to keep playing.
If you’re suffering from depression, give table tennis a go. Play with friends or join a local club. There will be no shortage of people to practice with there. All you really need is a bat, but make sure you get one of the best ping pong paddles. A poor bat will diminish your performance which will limit how great you feel while playing.