People who suffer from depression often hear a lot unsolicited advices on how to treat their disorders and ‘just be positive’ in life. Solutions to these problems are only one Google search away for us, but how effective they are is subjective.
There’s a large portion of the public who even suggest ‘just exercise and you will feel better’, and while that may even hold truth to it, can we exercise our way away from depression?
The classic symptoms like trouble sleeping through the night, loss of appetite are all just an indicator for what is to come ahead. Of course there is an option of getting prescribed antidepressant medication if according to diagnosis, but some fear that the pills will control their mind in some way.
So exercise is another way that is much popular and scientifically proven to give the same effect as medication.
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Work Out Works
Experts have been focusing on mental benefits of exercise as well in the last few years, and recommend it as a type of therapy. Those who have worked out in the past know that even running on a treadmill for 15 minutes can induce an immediate sense of endorphin-induced euphoria. The uplifting feeling does make us feel better, but is often temporary
According to a study done by scientists from Duke University, those who exercised or received the medicine had higher and comparable response rates, but they were only slightly better than those who were given sugar pills as placebo medicine. This may be interpreted as exercise working better than placebo pills, but research and clinical practice support the idea that antidepressant medicines often work best when combined with non-pharmacological approaches like psychotherapy, support groups, or healthy lifestyle habits.
Walk It Off
Mind you, exercise is not at all a substitute for medication and psychiatric care. Working out regulates adrenaline, the chemical that gives us our fight-or-flight response to danger. Several studies show that exercise is associated with reduced anxiety in clinical settings.
Exercise can sometimes assist those with anxiety disorders to minimize their panic therefore whenever you feel anxious next time, try taking a brisk walk if possible.
Chronic depression or anxiety, could mean that you may be fighting this battle for a really long time. However, it’s important not to let your challenges throw you into a ditch deeper than the one you were in.
Even if combining exercise with your regular treatment doesn’t bring a cure, it can lift your spirits for a time and provide some extra motivation. Even if exercise is not be a cure, if it can make you feel better, it’s worth doing. It is also important for your overall health, which should be plenty motivating.
Those who suffer from anxiety and depression, it becomes so difficult to even pick yourself up from the bed each morning to face the day. If you do workout and cannot get out of bed one day, it is important to not beat yourself up for it and be gentle. Go for a walk if possible or simply do some yoga asanas – the idea is to take your own time, space and method to increase those endorphins in your body.
Living with anxiety or depression, or both, is surely difficult, but it is possible to get help and not giving in to the disease. If you suffer from mental illness, you have an idea what we are talking about. Therefore, exercise may not be a cure, exercise can be another weapon in the battle against depression and anxiety.