Anxiety and depression is at an all-time high in today’s world. From unemployment spreading the nation, to record setting obesity and even a high percentage in divorce rates. The fact of the matter is that everyone knows at least, if not more than, one person suffering from anxiety or depression. This person may even be you. Many of these people couldn’t tell you why they’re in this state and even more don’t know they’re in it themselves. We often hear that accepting the problem is the hardest thing. And that it’s the first step to overcoming that problem. In many circumstances this is true, however, how many people do you know that often complain about something yet do little or nothing to fix it? Or they’ve tried numerous things and have yet to succeed. Unfortunately people now-a-days seem to be okay with admitting a problem but have some sort of excuse to hold them back from fixing it. Life can get very hard at times and it’s common for us to feel like just giving up. But what if I told you that the solution may not even be a part of the problem? New studies show that exercising on a regular basis can help both physical stress as well as reduce the causes of psychological anxiety and depression.


How exactly does exercise help depression and anxiety?

Regular exercise can help ease depression in a number of ways, including:

  • Releasing “feel-good” brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids)
  • Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
  • Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects

Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you:

  • Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
  • Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
  • Get more social interaction. Exercise and physical activity may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
  • Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.

“Excuses,” as I’ll call them, are the main thing that take people’s drive to a healthy lifestyle away. It doesn’t help that most of the things we see throughout the day are driving us towards an unhealthy lifestyle (this including: ads for alcohol, junk food, and even tricks to becoming healthy without putting forth the effort). Society is very involved and motivated to the thoughts that money and possessions are keys to a happy lifestyle but the truth is that if you’re not happy with yourself the way you are, nothing will change unless YOU change something about YOURSELF. This not intended to direct away from the saying, “don’t change who you are,” but so many people do not like who they are. In this case, why not change something?

If you know of anyone who suffers from depression or anxiety, or even if that person is you, try recommending the gym or some sort of exercise on a regular basis. Who knows? It may save a life.




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