How to Use Physical Activity as a Natural Remedy for Depression

Physical Activity and Depression Woman Exercising
Photo Courtesy of Pexels – Jonathan Borba

Anyone that ever experienced depression knows getting physical with activity is the least thing on their mind. After all, you don’t have the same energy and may feel too tired to even attempt exercise or care about it due to your mood. However, physical activity and mental health are linked to benefit depression due to the stimulation of enodorphins and dopamine, the happy chemicals the brain’s neurotransmitters release, while assisting cognitive function and the body’s cardiorespiratory system to make a significant difference in many instances without resorting to medications.

How to Get Started with Physical Activity When Depression Sets in

As hard as it is to admit, many of us make excuses to exercise when overwhelmed with sadness and depression. We just may park ourselves in front of the television or overeat in our attempts to cope with those negative feeling or just crawl into our beds. Instead, it is important to counteract those feelings with physical activity by activating the dopamine that the body may be low of.

Despite that lack of drive to exercise, forcing yourself to start is the first step to helping yourself feeling better. This does not mean that vigorous physical activity is called for, but something small like taking a stroll around the block or getting up from your seat and doing some housework or just moving around the house. These movements may sound insignificant, but you are getting your body to work even in a small capacity.

Nonetheless, doubts may still plague you about why just a little physical activity could possibly be enough to help. After all, it is a common belief to think that only regular vigorous exercise will show a change with a better toned body. But this is a cognitive distortion, a negative thinking trap that we can fall into with all-or-nothing thinking.

While the thought may be logical and make sense at the time, it is still only a thought that is detrimental to what is going on now. Therefore, that thought process needs to change by doing something as simply as tweaking that belief that regular exercise of a set amount of minutes per day can benefit with even a few minutes are better than nothing.

Tips to Make Exercise Fun and Enjoyable

It can be challenging to get motivated to exercise in the first place, let alone when depressed. For this reason, your favorite music can often help to distract the mind, enhance the mood to soothe as well as energize as the body as it responds to it.

Find a physical activity that you don’t consider a burden may be something to consider. For instance, you may love swimming or dancing. Try replacing that need to exercise and substitute it with your fun time to swim or dance.

In Conclusion

Physical activity for those experiencing sadness and depression can benefit as many studies have shown. Remember that the mind and body do work together. They may not completely solve depression, but they certainly can help.

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