Mental Health Gyms Offer A Way To Work Out Your Brain, Here’s How

Mental health gyms take members through mindfulness and journeying exercises to help make their minds more adaptable and resilient to stress.

By Trista Sobeck | Published

mental health gyms

Stress is at crisis levels in the United States and throughout the world. In a study, one in four adults reported feeling so stressed they could not function. And with stress rampant after a health pandemic of epic proportions, folks are not going to go back to feeling chill anytime soon. When you add toxic social media to the mix, it seems like stress is only getting worse. Just like folks go to the gym to make their bodies strong, they now have the opportunity to go to a mental health gym where they can work on building resilience and positive mental behaviors. 

According to BBC, mental health gyms have made an entrance into healthcare. However, these places have had to make it clear that they are not healthcare facilities, and if someone needs another level of support, they must seek professional help. These exercises are just to improve mental health, not to intervene if there is a crisis. 

These mental health gyms take folks through meditation and journeying exercises. According to some experts, engaging in these kinds of activities on a regular basis can help people adapt to mental stress, much like lifting weights frequently can help muscles adapt to physical stress.

According to the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America survey, which was conducted in 2022, one in four US adults claimed that most days they are so stressed that they are unable to operate.

Additionally, about 76% of adults reported having unfavorable health effects from stress, such as headaches, exhaustion, and depression. So what is causing all this stress? Folks are stressed out from things like climate change, massive layoffs, and a shifting economy. There’s a lot to be worried about, especially after a global pandemic that came out of nowhere.

In 2018 the first mental health gym launched in the U.S. The gyms encourage folks to meditate and learn how to take care of their mental health, as well as their physical health. Inside a mental health gym, folks can complete boot camps and circuit training while they help the brain relax. Things like infrared saunas, zero-gravity chairs, and flotation therapy tanks assist the mental side when weight lifting and cardio exercises help with the physical.  

Some doctors are prescribing nontraditional methods like deep breathing and trips to an art museum. Finally, health professionals are seeing how mental health is inextricably tied to physical health and vice versa. If you have a healthy body, the chances are your mental health is, too. It works that other way too. 

Owners of new mental health gyms are hoping that their existence will help with the stigma of seeking mental health assistance. The thought is that if people call “therapy” a boot camp or work on meditation as they pump some iron, they will normalize therapy. However, it is important to walk the line carefully between getting real help and practicing resilience to snap back to a good baseline. Mental health gyms are not for emergencies. They are to prevent them.