Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Depression is a common and debilitating mental health condition which can have a huge impact on an individual’s life. It can be caused by a variety of factors, from traumatic events to genetics, and it can manifest differently in different people. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available for depression, including exercise. In this article I will discuss how exercise can help reduce the symptoms of depression, as well as other ways to manage depression.
Check this out: How to Spot the Early Signs of Depression
Most people are aware that exercise has a positive effect on physical health; however, many may not be aware of its powerful effects on mental wellbeing too. Exercise releases endorphins into the body which act as natural antidepressants and can make us feel happier and more energised. Research has also shown that regular physical activity can improve sleep quality and decrease stress levels. All these benefits combined can have a positive effect on mood and reduce the symptoms of depression.
Although it may seem daunting at first, getting started with exercise doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating – even just going for a short walk each day can make a big difference to your overall wellbeing. Start off slowly by setting small goals such as walking around the block once or twice per week, then gradually build up over time until you reach your desired level of activity. If you find yourself struggling to stay motivated then set specific goals such as reaching 10 thousand steps per day or running three times per week – this should help keep you focused.
It is also important to choose activities that you enjoy; this will ensure that your workouts remain enjoyable and do not become another chore that adds stress to your life! It could be anything from swimming laps in the pool to playing team sports with friends; anything goes so long as it gets your heart rate up and makes you smile! You may even find yourself looking forward to exercising each day if the activity is something you truly enjoy doing.
Check this out: How to Combat Depression
In addition to exercise, there are other ways in which one may manage their depression:
Speaking with an experienced psychotherapist is an effective way of understanding why we feel depressed and learning how we might cope better with difficult emotions in our daily lives.
Eating nutritious meals helps maintain energy levels throughout the day while avoiding processed foods helps prevent further dips in mood. I use the keto diet to manage my nutrition.
Connecting with others
Going out for coffee or lunch with friends or family members helps combat loneliness while providing valuable social support.
Mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga all help relax both body and mind while increasing awareness of our thoughts. I started yoga and I reap the benefits daily, and yoga can certainly fit around the lives of busy people.
Doing something creative
Pursuing creative activities like art or music allows us to express ourselves without fear of judgement while providing much needed relief from negative thinking patterns.
Overall, exercise has been proven to be beneficial in reducing symptoms associated with depression due its ability to release endorphins into the body whilst increasing energy levels at the same time. Combining regular physical activity with other methods such as talk therapy and connecting with others will provide even greater relief from depressive thoughts than if one was only relying on exercise alone. However it’s important not forget that everyone’s journey through depression is unique so it’s best consult professional advice before embarking on any form of self management programme!