Can Depression be Cured by an Active Lifestyle?

A young depressed woman.

Depression is a severe illness that impacts mental and physical well-being. It is more than just a bad mood. (Image: Lightpoet via Dreamstime)

For some people, especially those who have depression, maintaining an active lifestyle might seem to be a challenging task to do. 

However, keeping an active lifestyle has various advantages, one of which is improving your general psychological health. More precisely, it can improve your mood, provide you with more energy, and improve your sleep.

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Besides psychiatric treatment and medication, an active lifestyle could undoubtedly help manage symptoms of feeling depressed even though it is not a solution. 

Depression defined

While we all occasionally feel sad, irritable, or discouraged, some people think these emotions are never-ending and occasionally for no apparent cause. Depression is a severe illness that impacts mental and physical well-being. It is more than just a bad mood.

Although the precise reason for being depressed is unknown, a variety of factors can be linked to its onset. Biological variables such as family background, primary medical conditions, financial issues, drug and alcohol usage, childhood development experiences, personality traits, current stressful events, and other human factors are frequent causes of depression.

Psychiatrists may initially treat feeling depressed by giving patients medications that can assist the brain’s neurotransmitter concentrations to return to normal. However, medications should also be used alongside psychotherapy and lifestyle changes.

Successful treatment of depression entails more than just taking medications and attending therapy.
Successful treatment of depression entails more than just taking medications and attending therapy. (Image: Ocusfocus via Dreamstime)

What causes depression in an individual?

There is no conclusive response to this. People’s experiences differ, but the most common causes include:

  • Childhood experiences
  • Life events
  • Other mental health problems
  • Physical health problems
  • Genetic inheritance
  • Medication, recreational drugs, and alcohol
  • Sleep, diet, and lack of exercise

Understanding the benefits of an active lifestyle

You live an active lifestyle if you engage in physical activities every day. It encompasses any activity that makes you move. 

In line with an active lifestyle, exercise is often brought up. A balanced, active lifestyle involves regular exercise and a nutritious diet to enhance well-being. 

One can notice that having a healthy, active lifestyle can assist you in becoming the greatest form of yourself by increasing confidence and helping with stress reduction.

Can a shift in your lifestyle treat depression?

Successful treatment of depression entails more than just taking medications and attending therapy. You’ll be able to deal with the difficulties of being depressed more effectively the more you alter your lifestyle to promote physical and mental health.

Physical activity or an active lifestyle may reduce anxiety and depression by producing endorphins and other naturally occurring neurochemicals that can improve your well-being.
Physical activity or an active lifestyle may reduce anxiety and depression by producing endorphins and other naturally occurring neurochemicals that can improve your well-being. (Image: Sawitree Pamee via Dreamstime)

How being active alleviates depression

Physical activity or an active lifestyle may reduce anxiety and the feeling of being depressed by producing endorphins and other naturally occurring neurochemicals that can improve your well-being. 

Aside from this, it can also take your focus off your troubles to break the loop of negative thinking that fuels sadness and anxiety. Additionally, it can help to boost your self-esteem and increase social engagement.

Is exercise beneficial for depression?

Exercising for at least 30 minutes three to five days a week is known to lessen a depressed state and anxiety symptoms. But, even short exercise duration, such as 10 to 15 minutes, also is beneficial.

What you can do to counter depression

Depression may deplete your energy, leaving you weary and exhausted. It could be difficult to conjure the motivation or willpower to undergo help. 

You can take various steps to counter the effects of depression. Even minor adjustments to your daily routine, diet, and way of life can all have a favorable impact on you.

The following actions may help you minimize the symptom of being depressed:

  • Avoid stress
  • Exercise daily
  • Eat a nutritious diet
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Talking therapy
  • Relaxation and meditation techniques

Conclusion

Active lifestyle changes are simple but powerful tools in treating depression and anxiety, and they are an essential component of an integrated approach to treatment. In some cases, lifestyle changes alone can help depression or relieve anxiety, so it makes sense to start with them immediately.

If you are suffering from moderate to severe depression or anxiety, seek professional help immediately. And if you don’t see relief from symptoms of being mildly depressed in a few months, likewise seek professional help.

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