Can Exercise Really Help Against Anxiety And Depression?
People have been reiterating again and again how exercise is helpful in improving your mental health. It will be explored further why exercise plays an important role in our lives.
Indeed, exercise has plenty of physical benefits like improving your physique, toning your body, or helping you lose weight from specific areas as well.
That is not it; people who exercise daily have a better sense of their well-being. They have more energy, better memory and better sleep quality in their daily routine. There is generally more positivity in your life when you exercise and therefore it is obvious that it helps against anxiety and depression as well.
You should do everything in your power to curtail these mental conditions as they have the capacity of dictating your life.
Furthermore, there are now a plethora of different ways through which you can help wage war against depression and anxiety without leaving the comfort of your home. These include, meditation, exercise, yoga or investing in the services of an online therapist.
Whenever you are under stress, your muscles feel tensed and there is recurring pain in your neck, back and shoulders.
When you are experiencing anxiety or depression, there is a lot of stress that generates these feelings of being lost. As a result, it sometimes turns into loss of appetite, insomnia and increased need to use the bathroom.
Exercising is an effective way to break this cycle. Not only does physical activity help in relaxing the muscles and relieving tension from the body, but it also improves your general outlook towards life.
Since there is an immaculate link between the body and mind, one cannot do well without the other. Here is how exercise can help you in fighting two major mental health struggles: depression and anxiety.
Studies suggest that exercise is an efficient tool to deal with mild depression and it is as effective as antidepressant medicines. It does not even have any side effects as well.
Mental health experts also prescribe it because it prevents relapsing into depression.
Exercise helps in combating depression for various reasons. It is a catalyst for evoking a positive change in the brain that includes neural growth and it also reduces inflammation. All of this results in generating feelings of calmness and improved well-being.
Exercise releases endorphins and chemicals that end up energizing your body as a whole. Apart from lifting your spirits, exercise is also a distraction, because it allows you to allot time for yourself from a noisy world.
Through this, you get a chance to break away from the vicious cycle that exacerbates depression.
Similar to depression, exercise is an effective way to treat anxiety as well. Exercise is an excellent stress reliever as it helps enhance mental energy because of release of endorphins. It helps you in regaining your focus in life.
The small things in exercise help you see the most positive changes.
For example, it helps you keep track of your breathing and just being aware of all the sensations. Exercise has an element of mindfulness as well, like in yoga and other ways through which mindfulness can be achieved. This practice is essential because it does not let constant worries stay in your mind. Here are some interesting ideas for exercising if you have anxiety or depression.
Other mental health benefits of exercising
There are several other benefits of exercising as well that improve your mental health. Firstly, it helps you improve your memory and thinking as well because the endorphins increase your concentration capacity. Apart from that, they also encourage the growth of your brain cells and prevent any decline in your memory.
Secondly, it boosts higher self-esteem in an individual, which is an important infrastructure for your body and soul.
With higher self-esteem, you feel that you are worth something in life. This directly affects your appearance and because of exercise, you are able to enjoy a sense of achievement in life. Thirdly, having better sleep is one of the most important benefits of exercise as a healthy sleeping pattern is necessary for living a happy and positive life.
There are various exercises like yoga that will help you in increasing the quality of your sleep.
You need a good night’s sleep in order to stay active throughout the day. Any feelings of being lazy and sick will be counterproductive. You will feel that you have more energy in general and a better coping mechanism that lifts you up whenever you are down. In return, it elevates your immune system.
How much should you exercise?
You might think that to enjoy all of this you need to devote two hours a day, but that is wrong. You will see positive results even if you start with thirty minutes every day. Even a simple brisk walk, skipping rope, or mindfulness activities change your mental health significantly.
You can pace your exercise according to your wish, because at the end of the day, you are responsible for your body.
Do not be disappointed with this regime, because if you are just starting this routine, it might seem a lot at first. Therefore, conduct your exercises with breaks, but do not give up on your body. With moderate physical activity, you will be able to understand its correlation with your mental state.
Try different flavors of exercise and continue with whatever suits you better.
Exercise is not enough
Having said that, if you are someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, it is important for you to consider other options as well. These include different forms of therapy, or medication if your situation is too intense. Think of exercise as a stabilizer that induces serenity and puts you in a routine where doing every day activities does not seem too difficult.
With this, it is evident that exercise plays an important role in fighting anxiety and depression as it brings the wave of positivity in your life.
However, it is important to seek for help to know more about the root causes of anxiety and depression. Look at exercise and other forms of physical activity as something that complements other wholesome treatments. Remember that exercising is as a band-aid and therefore it could only do so much.
So do everything in your power, take every step necessary and soon you should be able to overcome these conditions.