Categories: Fitness

How Exercise Helps Improve Depression And Anxiety

It’s not uncommon nowadays for people to have depression and anxiety, no matter how mild to severe it may be. One thing that you may have heard a lot is that exercise helps improve depression and anxiety. I know, that whole phrase just sounds exhausting.

For someone who lacks motivation because of depression and anxiety, you’re telling me that I have to physically move my body and push limits to get rid of it? That’s an instant big no thanks. But if you stop being so quick to judge that piece of advice, you may realize that it actually might be the key to feeling better. Here is why exercise does improve your depression and anxiety.

Releases Endorphins

Channeling your negative energy into physical movement does help. The reason it helps is because when you exercise the brain releases endorphins that counteract your feeling of pain as well as giving you a postive feeling overall. It’s a natural high.

It’s a much better coping mechanism than using substances. When you’re finished with your work out not only do you feel relieved of tension, but you’d feel tired too. This is also good because it’s relaxing to feel all the worries and stress drained out of you.

Distracts You

When you’re exercising, you’re channeling your thoughts elsewhere. Doesn’t matter if you are out walking around the block or at the gym lifting weights, you’re focused on your work out. Taking your mind off of what is upsetting you is a sure way to help you feel better. How can you be sad and anxious when you’re not even thinking about what is making you sad and anxious?

The exercise that you do of course depends on your physical limitations. But I suggest pushing your body to the limit because it creates the most distraction. If you’re not sure what your limits are, getting checked out by a physician is always safe and encouraged. But if you are clear to work on weight lifting and running, by all means, do it. Pop in your headphones, set a reasonable goal, and just work hard to reach it. Before you realize it, you’ll have gone a full 30 minutes to an hour or not thinking about what is upsetting you in the first place.

Feel More Confident

Exercise for anybody, in general, is a great confidence booster. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, you’ll see the difference exercise does for you. Of course, it works better if you also maintain your eating habits, but whether it is losing weight or just getting toned, you’ll see a difference. And when you look better, you’ll feel better; no doubt about that. Nobody is going to deny a confidence boosts and that’s just the bonus to those positive endorphins being released in your brain.

See Also

It’s A Healthy Strategy to Dealing With The Negatives Of Life

We’ve all been there where life has us down and we just want a coping mechanism that will help us feel better. Not all coping mechanisms are a good way to deal with the problem you’re having. For instance, alcohol is a depressant itself. I read a quote somewhere that it’s like “Stealing tomorrow’s happiness”, which is why you may feel even worse the next day. I strongly advise you to stay away from that route or other substances and focus more on exercise.

Like mentioned before, it’s a natural high. The more often you do it, the better you’ll feel. Just give it a try and don’t think of it as a chore. Ease it into becoming a part of your day and don’t start out with too much, a simple 30 minutes, two-three times a week is as good a start as any.

Are you going to give exercise a try to improve your mental health? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image Source:
Gabrielle Smith

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