What is the Best Way to Beat Depression without Medicines?

What is the Best Way to Beat Depression without Medicines?

Depression is a huge problem in society nowadays. Both young and old can suffer an overwhelming sense of helplessness and anxiety. 

If you are a cynic you could say people just have too much time to worry. A remark that doesn’t help anybody, nor is it true in my opinion.

This article explains why exercise is a great way to beat depression. Other articles like Why we Have to Allow ourselves to Experience our Emotions and Why Should we be Grateful for Health and Relations? approach the subject from a different angle.

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What is the best way to beat depression?

Apart from medication, which in some cases is necessary, the best way to beat depression is to exercise on one hand and to accept depression as a time to recharge the battery on the other hand. Trust yourself that you’ll get over it.

What can cause depression?

It is better to work on the solutions than to think of the problems

A bad mood is not immediately a depression. Having a bad mood every day for months in a row is. Severe loss of interest in anything is a sign as well.

Often the cause is a combination of biological, social and psychic factors:

  • heredity;
  • hormonal change;
  • use of medication, drugs or alcohol;
  • chronic illness;
  • death of a loved one;
  • retirement;
  • fear of failure;
  • low self-esteem;
  • struggle to ask for support.

My former colleague got depressed at some point due to the inevitable feeling of not being able to do everything he liked anymore while he was ageing. His depression got so bad that the only thing that helped him was medication.

I have no experience with that kind of depression so I can’t say anything valuable about it. Just that if you have a feeling you can’t possibly come out of a depression on your own, please seek experienced help from a doctor or a therapist.

Why exercise is good

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Science Daily reports regular exercise not only treats depression but also helps to prevent it. That’s exciting news if you have trouble battling those low feelings in your life. 

Evermore evidence pops up supporting the fact that exercise can be an excellent and effective tool to treat depression and prevent it in the long term.

Exercising 5 days a week for 30 minutes is all you need to reap the rewards when it comes to improving your mental health.

Related: What are Great Physical Activity Guidelines? Tips for Everyone.

How to activate yourself?

I suffered some periods of severe depression. From my own experience, I know that the main problem is not to exercise but to get yourself motivated to come out of bed and do anything at all.

Arrange for a buddy who will kick you in the butt or coach you gently to some activity. Exercise together. Join a group. Apply whichever method is necessary to get you going.

Exercise against depression

Exercise to beat depression

Any type of exercise is great to boost your mood if you are fighting the blues. Experts say this is particularly effective if you suffer from mild to moderate levels of depression.

Be sure to do the activities you enjoy in order to be motivated and stick with it.

How much exercise do you need?

Each week about 150 minutes of vigorous activity should suffice. If you have passed upon your physical activity and want to start again, make sure you take it slowly in the beginning. 

Ease your way into it. This will help you consolidate your new healthy habit and avoid injury. 

Keep in mind that anything is better than nothing. Even when you start with 2 minutes a day it is perfect to relieve stress and clear your head.

How does exercise help beat depression and anxiety?

  • Exercise triggers the release of those all-natural feel-good brain chemicals that stifle depression, rejigging neurotransmitters and endorphins;
  • Reduces immune system chemicals that will trigger and heighten depression;
  • Boosts body temperature that helps calm the body in general.

Aside from stabilizing weight, deterring obesity, and decreasing the risk of serious disease, routine exercise also has numerous psychological and emotional benefits, including:

Builds confidence

By setting exercise goals and meeting them, you’ll boost your confidence. In addition, when you get in shape you feel better about yourself because you look and feel fantastic.

Increases social relations

When you exercise, you are socializing. Even if you are just going for a power walk, you’ll pass people with a wave or smile; all of which makes you feel great.

Distracts you from worry

Negative thoughts left to steam will eventually eat you up. When you exercise, you’re focused on the positive and you give your head a break from your concerns.

Positive coping mechanism

It’s not possible just to ease your depressive worries away. When you engage in uplifting exercising you learn to cope in a healthy manner. 

Related: Is Happiness the Key to be Successful or Vice Versa?

Don’t settle for depression

Walking even when it's difficult

According to the Centers for disease control and prevention, depression is not a routine part of the ageing process. Depression is most common when seniors are suffering from other health conditions.

Many people, especially seniors, are underdiagnosed when it comes to depression and not treated properly. Exercise is a non-invasive treatment option that is effective in moderate to mild cases. If you suffer from deep depression, exercise is going to help you immensely, but other measures may also need to be in place. Make sure you always discuss your plan of action with your healthcare provider.

There’s no doubt that in order to get healthy you need to incorporate challenging regularly exercise into your day. In addition, if you are battling depression it’s even more important that you give your mental state that positive boost to help you focus on the positive and shut out the negative.

Get active and reap the rewards; mind, body, and soul!

Have you been depressed and battled it successfully? Tell us in the comment box below.

5 thoughts on “What is the Best Way to Beat Depression without Medicines?”

  1. Thank you very much for this excellent article, Hannie!
    I also know about depression. When I suffered from burn-out syndromes, I experienced paralyzing depression, and I could hardly visit a shop, do my grocery. But I tried to walk a lot in Nature, which has helped me very much.
    Exercise is so essential, absolutely, even walking for 30 mins is already very beneficial.
    In my experiences as a nurse, I can say that most time, stress combined with pollution, maybe from eating the wrong food that creates a hormone disbalance in the body, but air, noise, and light pollution are massive problems.
    The overload of wifi and radiation is destroying the brain very much. It is good to create a healthy lifestyle and avoid too much pollution.
    We in Apeldoorn are the project for Klaus Schwab’s “smart cities,” which is now in development. It means the radiation will increase enormously. I called the community council because they had sent a letter to say that they have a district for sensible people who are suffering from 5G, but when I called and mentioned the letter, they didn’t want to know it. It is devastating because they decide over the people’s heads living in such cities. So, we better move, because I believe that health problems will now rise, and depression!

    • Not every change is for the better. It’s hard for administrations and governments to change their way of thinking once they are on a specific path. You could copy the letter and write an accompanying note with it, then they can’t deny it exists. As far as I know, governments, whether they are national or local, are obliged to respond to civilian’s messages. So don’t give up!

      Although moving is also a good idea. As you know we made that decision years ago and never regretted it for a second. It helps me to be in groups that think the same way about sustainability and health. That gives me a lot of positive energy.

      And moving in the second meaning – exercising – is equally great. It’s marvellous you have a lot of nature in the vicinity.
      Thanks for your comment, Sylvia, and stay balanced. 🙂

  2. Exercise is great all of the time but more so when you are feeling depressed.
    As a sufferer of depression, I sometimes have to force myself to do things.
    Once out of bed it is important to do the exercise straight away for me so the
    rest of my day can continue on an even keel.
    After several weeks I always feel better.
    This post will be very helpful to many people 🙂

    • That’s the hard part, isn’t it, Lisa? Starting. No matter whether that’s starting to come out of bed, starting to exercise, starting to go outside. It can be daunting when we are not even depressed, let alone when we are. Yet, it is so very important and I am happy it helps you as well to exercise and keep moving.

      Thanks for your comment and take care of yourself.


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