Regular exercise may alleviate symptoms of depression by:
• Increasing energy levels
• Help improve sleeping patterns
• Help block negative thoughts or distract people from daily worries
• Increasing a sense of control and self-esteem, by allowing people to take an active role in their own wellbeing
• Help lift mood through improved fitness and the release of natural chemicals in the brain
• Help people feel less alone if they exercise with others.
Physical activity reduces health risk factors:
• Reduce risk of cardiovascular problems
• Decreases chance of obesity and high blood pressure
• Increases HDL (good cholesterol)
• Decreases chance of type 2 diabities
• Strengthens muscucloskeletal system and helps reduce chances of osteoporosis
• Improves mental wellbeing by reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
*Exercise may change levels of chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones. Exercises like breathing, Qigong, mindfulness may assist in poor concentration, less worrying, loss of sleep, mood. Along with a better understanding of food and diet may assist in one’s mood and overall health.
Tips to help you get started:
•Start simple – increase your activity levels gradually to improve your self-confidence and build motivation for more energetic activities. Start with simple activities such as shopping, driving, gardening or small household tasks.
•Do what is enjoyable – people with anxiety or depression often lose interest and pleasure in doing things they once enjoyed. Plan activities that you used to find enjoyable, interesting, relaxing or satisfying with friends or family – with time the pleasure you feel from doing these activities will return.
•Include other people – people with anxiety or depression often withdraw from others, but continuing to socialise is an important part of recovery. Staying connected with friends and family can help increase wellbeing, confidence and provide opportunities to socialise.
•Make a plan – planning a routine can help people become more active. Make sure some form of exercise is included each day. Try to stick to the plan as closely as possible, but be flexible.
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Anxiety and depression checklist (K10) - Beyondblue.org.au
It helps to think of yourself as a team made up of several members. For the team to be effective, each member (each aspect of yourself) must have its needs met and must work in harmony with the other team members. These aspects of yourself are:
•Physical you (your body)--your tangible structure and the five senses which enable you to touch, see, hear, smell and taste the world around you
•Emotional you (your feelings)--your range of emotions from fear and anger to love and joy
•Mental you (your thoughts)--your knowledge, attitudes and beliefs; your analytical self
•Spiritual you (your spirit )--your relationship with yourself, your creativity, your life purpose, and your relationship with a higher Power.
All of these aspects work together to make you a whole person. What happens to one aspect can affect all the other aspects. That's why being confined to bed with a sore back (physical) can lead to depression (emotional), or why denying your anger (emotional) can lead to a headache (physical). This relationship between different aspects is often referred to as the mind/body connection. Since all four parts of you must work in harmony to achieve wellness, each part needs your attention and care to perform at its best.
•The physical you requires good nutrition, appropriate weight, beneficial exercise and adequate rest.
•The emotional you needs to give and receive forgiveness, love and compassion; needs to laugh and experience happiness; needs joyful relationships with yourself and others.
•The mental you needs self-supportive attitudes, positive thoughts and viewpoints and a positive self-image.
•The spiritual you requires inner calmness, openness to your creativity, and trust in your inner knowing.
-The American Holistic Health Association (AHHA)