If you have been feeling down lately, the key to getting out of the slump may be health related. According to the Harvard Medical School, one in 10 adults in the United States struggle with depression. Research shows that exercise is an effective way to treat the condition and can even work as well or better than antidepressants.
Common symptoms of depression include reduced energy, appetite changes and increased pain perception. So, how do you find the motivation to get into a new routine and change your mental mindset? Experts at Harvard suggest starting slowly to get your body used to being active before increasing your level of physical activity. Here is some motivation to get started and keep the momentum going, there is a happier version of you waiting to get active.
HOW DOES EXERCISE IMPROVE MOODS?
Physical activity is an important contributor to positive mental health. The JED Foundation, an emotional health nonprofit for teens and young adults, offers these benefits of becoming active. • Improves mood and mental health by releasing endorphins through your body to reduce anxiety and depressed moods while enhancing self-esteem. • Boosts energy and brainpower by delivering oxygen and nutrients to the brain and various tissues. • Prevents illnesses like high blood pressure, strokes and heart disease. • Improves your quality of sleep and helps you fall asleep faster.
Along with an active lifestyle, taking your diet seriously can provide you with a more positive mindset. Experts at the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research have found that a healthy diet protects us from risk factors associated with depression and anxiety. By loading up with healthy nutrients, vitamins can become the protein-building blocks and neurotransmitters that transfer information and signals between various parts of the brain and body. Gut health is another area that is growing in finding a relationship between food and moods. Increase the number of probiotics in your diet to maintain a healthy gut environment and decrease inflammation in the body, which ultimately affects our cognition. Foods rich with probiotics include sauerkraut, olives, pickles and coconut.
Taking control of your health also promotes more self-esteem by improving the perception you have of yourself. Overcome the obstacles of becoming active and maintaining a healthy diet by logging your journey with pictures or diary entries. Looking back on the process can keep you motivated once you see how far you have come.