Depression is a tough nut to crack and there are often many elements that lead a person to suffer from low mood. What causes one person to slip into a walk with the black dog may not necessarily affect someone else, everyone is different.
The same can be said for the medication that GPs so readily dole out to patients. Anti-depressants come in many different forms and while one type may work great for one sufferer, another may feel no positive effect from the drug whatsoever.
In fact, in some cases, prescribed drugs can often leave a patient feeling numb rather than better. While it may be desirable to numb the bad feelings and thoughts that you are experiencing, drugs are not selective and can often quash good moods just as readily as the bad.
Why exercise works
Regular exercise is well known to be great for our physical health, but recent studies suggest that the benefits that we get from working out can also help with our mental health too. Endorphin release has long been touted as a positive result of physical activity, but it is now also believed that exercise can actually cleanse our bodies of harmful chemicals – a physical detox, if you will.
Physical movement and activity can help your body produce an enzyme that helps purge the blood of a substance that can build up during times of stress. The process works when an enzyme called KAT turns harmful kynurenine molecules into kynurenic acid. Kynurenic acid is harmless and it can be easily passed through the body.
Physicians have known about the link between kynurenine and depression for some time. However, its relationship with muscle metabolism and the effect that exercise has on the molecule is now a matter of interest for many doctors studying depression.
Modern life doesn’t help
Many of us are now far more sedentary than we used to be. Ours jobs involve sitting in front of screen all day, and when we relax we are more often than not slumped on the couch in front of the TV. A recent study showed that around 80% of UK citizens failed to reach the target of doing some moderate exercise at least 12 times each month set by the British government. This target is far from high, and you certainly don’t have to be an Olympian to achieve it.
How you can improve your fitness…and your mental health
If you are unused to regular exercise the first thing to remember is to take things slowly. Injury is common in those beginning a new exercise regime and it is a sure fire way to stop you achieving your end goal – physical and mental wellness. If you are unfamiliar with the gym environment a personal trainer can help you develop a fitness and nutrition programme, and help motivate you to follow it.
Walking is a great way to begin, as is swimming. Try walking to the shops instead of jumping in the car, or taking the stairs as opposed to getting in a lift. Get off a stop early on your way to or from work and walk the rest of the way, you’ll be amazed at how quickly these little steps mount up.
Once you have achieved a certain level of fitness you can begin to consider more rigorous forms of physical exertion. Consulting a fitness instructor is advised here, as they will be able to build a programme specifically to your needs.
Overall, the most important thing is to start. Without taking the first step you’ll never reach the final destination. Start today and get your body and mind back to where you want them to be.Read More
If you want to improve your wellbeing you should take out time to meditate during the day. It is not easy to find time for yourself and concentrate on just your thoughts and emotions and cleanse, but if you are committed to it, you will find it easier every day. It will provide you a sense of inner peace and being in control of your emotions and thoughts.
2. Do what makes you happy
People often forget it is OK to say no sometimes. You should do what makes you happy. If you are a people-pleaser you will soon be burn out by requests of others and catch yourself doing things for others. If something doesn’t make you happy, in the long run it will only make you frustrated to give in to requests of others, and no one wants you to be frustrated. Put yourself first, and then others will naturally do it, too.
3. Reach out
Get in touch with your friends and family. Make calls during the day instead of waiting for others to remember to call you. Today’s technology is so advanced there is really no need to feel lonely. And once you do, make arrangements to see and interact with people live instead of being attached to your phone and computer.
Exercise for the body is what meditation is for your mind. It will help you cleanse your thoughts, it will help you stay fit and healthy and most of all it will exhaust you just enough to get a good night’s sleep and at the same time it will provide you a sense of accomplishment.
5. Eat healthy
It is also important to eat healthy. Keep your diet healthy, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, drink plenty of water, cut down on sweets and fats and you will soon see that you feel fitter, healthier and happier.
6. Get plenty of sleep
Go to bed early. Relax and get a good night’s sleep. Do not wait for the weekend to get your well-deserved rest and sleep in and long for the weekend to rest. Simply take some time to get rest during the week and you will more energized and filled with positive energy.
Whether it is a comedy show that cracks you up or your friends – surround yourself with positive experience, people and situations. Life is complicated enough as it is, try to keep an upbeat attitude and laugh as much as you can. Eventually, you will even make a habit out of it.
8. Practice gratitude
Remember all the things you have in life. Take some time and be grateful for everything you have going for you. Refuse to concentrate on those things you find your life to be lacking and be negative about it. Instead practice positive attitude and in time everything you do lack will find its way to you.Read More