What are the reasons why cycling makes us so happy? What is the psychology behind this story?
Cycling is one of the beautiful sports, it is a statement we hear every time we ask a friend why he rides a bike. And he will answer with a smile on his face that he experienced it both during cycling and during the competitions in which he participates. The number of cyclists is growing more and more, and the fever of cycling is catching us even stronger, because we know how well it does us.
What makes us love cycling so much, though? What draws us to her so much? What are the reasons why cycling makes us happier than tennis, swimming or football? What is the reason why all children want a bicycle?
When positive psychology investigates happiness, it seems that cycling has the most characteristics, to the detriment of other sports. So, let's see what are those reasons that make cycling a sport that brings happiness in our lives and how it acts on all levels, bringing us fulfillment, a life lived with meaning:
- Physical health. It has been scientifically proven that aerobic exercise heralds an enviable physical condition. Our body simply works better when we are in good physical condition. Lack of exercise, especially during the development of children, is one of the major causes of obesity.
- Mental health. Aerobic exercise in both humans and animals has been shown to improve a number of knowledge and performance characteristics. Exercise can help with both physical health and academic performance. A significant number of studies support the idea that exercise is a lifestyle that leads to improved physical and mental health. Depression, anxiety and stress are lower in physically healthy people. Cycling stimulates mental health.
- Cycling is social. If you are a bit lonely, but want to make friends, find out that cycling is a good way to network. You can pedal on your own, but many of the outings are between friends, and most of all you will enjoy enjoying a beer, after the tour, in the company of your new friends.
- Skills. Cycling is a sport that anyone can do, being accessible to everyone. Basically, you don't need a degree or specialization to pedal. And then, if you still learned to ride a bike when you were little, find out that cycling is never forgotten.
- Savoring. Savoring is the use of thoughts and actions to increase the intensity, duration and appreciation of positive emotions and experiences. Cycling is a strong supporter of well-being. At the same time it brings us countless opportunities to "breathe". Whether we are talking about admiring nature, the adrenaline of a quick descent, coffee and beer accompanied by post-bike chat with friends, these are just a few examples of enjoying time before or after several walks.
- Gratitude. Gratitude and savoring go hand in hand. It is quite complicated to enjoy that something that fulfills you without emitting that deep feeling of gratitude. Gratitude makes us just as happy. What we feel and think when we are on the bike can be sublime. Cycling offers those precious moments that fill us with admiration, appreciation and gratitude. You feel that everything is fine, even when it is not. As long as we are on 2 wheels, we are happy.
- Goals. In terms of cycling, we can practice setting goals that, once achieved, improve our well-being and bring us more vitality. What's more, they make us feel good. Regardless of the size of the goal set, we will make sense of cycling.
- Extreme sensations. One of the attributes of many sports is the search for opportunities that will create strong sensations, in other words that adrenaline. Research shows that physical activity is seen as an activity to fulfill our needs to be excited, full of life and adventure. Cycling gives us such sensations when we do a quick descent, a sprint in the crowd or crossing a boulder.
- Results. Well-being is given by 5 factors: positive emotions, commitment, relationships, purpose in life and achievements. Cycling is an endless source of results. Whether we are talking about KOMs on the road, the satisfactions generated by a long race, the Everest experience or the achievement of personal goals, cycling is always rewarded.
- Flow-ul/Angajamentul. Flow-ul este o stare mentală de acțiune în care o persoană performează în activitate prin focus, implicare deplină și bucuria/pasiunea desfășurării activității. În esență flow-ul se caracterizează printr-o absorbție completă în ceea ce faci. Ciclismul presupune un flow, un angajament în care nu simți că e o pierdere de timp.
- Optimism. Optimists are those people who have the feeling that good things will happen in the future and that it will look bright. Optimists are happier than those who fear the future. As cyclists are result-oriented, grateful and committed to the sport, they look forward to a new lap and are optimistic that they will.
- Strengths. To live fulfilled and with a purpose in life, we need to exploit all that is best in us, and embrace as many experiences of love, work, and play as possible. If you love cycling you will definitely identify your strengths, you will shoot as much as you can, while your friends complain of leg pain.
- Restoration. The real recreation is recovery. Although cycling can seemingly exhaust you, at the same time you enjoy recovery. After the race you will sleep much better, and your physical and mental condition will be great for days after these walks.
- Purpose. Most of the time, cycling can facilitate the contribution to a much bigger goal than the one you set. You can participate in events in support of charitable actions, and belonging to a group offers you many more opportunities. Having much bigger goals in our lives helps us to have a meaning and ultimately to have a happy life.
- Positive emotions. If our orientation towards cycling is a healthy one, then we will feel a multitude of positive emotions, such as: joy, contentment, achievement, calm, tranquility, confidence, strength, excitement, happiness, freedom. Clearly, we will feel great on the bike!