If you are looking for a fun way to boost mood, banish depression and ease anxiety, exercise is it. Countless studies have shown that exercise is like medicine. Use it as your personal prescription to not only look your best but to feel your best, too.
A Harvard Health Publications article titled, Exercise and Depression asserts that regular exercise improves mood in people with mild to moderate depression. Researchers believe this is because exercise releases endorphins, chemicals that impart a feel good effect as they course through the body. You can reduce symptoms of depression with just a 35 minute walk 5 days a week.
Ease Anxiety – the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports in their article, Exercise for Stress and Anxiety that regular exercise reduces tension and insomnia, boosts mood and even improves self-esteem. Even better news, you can stimulate the anti-anxiety benefits of exercise in the first five minutes of movement. The next time you are feeling tense or anxious, just going for a walk can help you begin to feel better.
Take control – Exercise can help you feel better by giving you a feeling of control over your conditions. Here’s how:
- Exercise provides a distraction from troubling thoughts. When your mind is racing it can feel like you are trapped in a painful thought spiral. Getting active can interrupt this spiral by shifting your focus from your mind to your body in motion.
- Exercise gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Many things that happen throughout the day feel like they are beyond our control. Deciding to head for the gym or for a walk around the block provides a positive focus with immediate positive feedback. You benefit from pride in making and keeping a promise to yourself as well as the mood boost of being active.
- Exercise may offer some people alternative or complementary options for managing anxiety, insomnia and depression.
- Working out boosts confidence as well as self-esteem and cognitive function. Try it by exercising about two hours before your next big presentation. The confidence boost will last between 4 and 6 hours.
Exercise is a great way to keep your body and mind sharp. Stay active to keep depression, anxiety and insomnia at bay. You’ll find that you also boost confidence and feelings of well-being along the way.