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Science Says Moderate Exercise Can Prevent Depression

Science Says Moderate Exercise Can Prevent Depression

Depression is an illness that affects the mind and body. It is not your ordinary feeling of sadness or emptiness. At its worst, depression has the power to destroy you while playing with your thoughts and emotions.

When you’re in a depressed state, everything just feels “wrong”. From the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep. You see the world in a darker shade – where rainbows don’t exist and bright days seem to pass by quickly.

If you have a loved one suffering from depression, it can be just as emotionally painful to see them destroy themselves each day. And if you could just transfer your energy and your happiness to them, you would do so in a heartbeat.

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Working Out for Good Mental Health

study on the effects of moderate physical activity has been found to combat the damaging effects of depression. The research conducted at the University of Toronto found that moderate exercise has long-term effects on preventing and curing depression.

Inspired by mental health experts who are worried about costly prescription medications and its side effects, the study was focused on the preventive ability of exercise to fend off depression.

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Aside from muscle size, abs, and a healthy heart – exercise proves to have positive effects on one’s mental health. Part of the symptoms of depression is fatigue and mental exhaustion. This causes the person to feel tired even after a good night’s sleep. A depressed person will also likely to stay at home and avoid any activity that will require their energy. With proper guidance, continuous support and care, it isn’t possible to get them to like exercise and help them cultivate a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Moderate Exercise for Treating Anxiety

Anxiety and depression are two different conditions which on many occasions can occur together on an individual. One of the causes of anxiety is tension and stress. It is a normal response to stressful situations. Exercises help relieve these feelings of tension and pressure, by giving you a healthy release of endorphins.

Physical activity helps you shift your focus on your body. It gives you temporary mindfulness as you run, feel the wind in your hair, your aching legs and your breath. Experts believe that any activity that releases stress helps you avoid worries and matters of the mind.

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Moderate Exercise for Boosting the Brain

Depression can shut down the brain’s ability to adapt to new situations.  It limits the production of essential brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin that foster brain cell communication.

This is the reason why depressed people seem to make poor life choices. They also withdraw themselves from any kind of new social interaction or activity, because they don’t know how to adapt to these changes.

Exercise counters this by boosting the production of a protein called BDNF that helps neurotransmitters from functioning effectively. BDNF also stimulates growth and creation of brain cells which helps improve memory.

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Exercise Fights Fatigue and Gives You Energy

When you’re feeling sluggish, and tired – all you want to do is lie on the couch and hide under the covers all day. But experts say the common fatigue we often experience is not caused by simple exhaustion, but our bodies’ resistance to sedentary activities.

It’s your body’s way of telling you that you need to go out and get moving. When you start moving, your body will want to move more, and the more you move, the more energy you’ll have.  More running and moving can help increase your heart rate and energy.

Just like how food gives you energy. Exercise gives you your body’s needed energy boost to help you last throughout the day. Now you can work for 8 hours without feeling fatigued, digest dietary fats better, and have a more productive work day.

Exercise as a Coping Technique

Exercise is a great way to help you cope with challenges in life. Instead of resorting to bad vices like drugs, alcohol and activities that have damaging effects on your body, exercise helps you feel good about yourself. It also fosters self-love and the feeling that you’re doing something good for your body.

Exercise has many wondrous effects on our body.  In fact, many of the illnesses and conditions we have today can be prevented and improved through physical activity. The best thing about exercise is anyone can do it – your age, ethnicity, or size don’t matter at all. This means we can all take small steps to become happy and healthy.

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Armela Escalona

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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