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Beating Back Depression and Anxiety: 7 Simple Exercises You Can Do Right Now to Feel Better

Battling depression and anxiety is no easy task. Most often the treatment provided for both mental ailments is to take medication. Of course, even with medication, you may still experience feelings of sadness of anxiety. In truth, feeling of depression of mental anxiety can strike at any time of the day or night. When that happens, you need to find a way to relieve yourself of the feelings and symptoms.

Fortunately, beating back anxiety and depression is as easy as switching up your daily activities. There are plenty of exercises you can do to combat both anxiety and depression to a happier, healthier you. Becoming more active and investing your spare time in focusing on exercises that you can do and enjoy do more than just distract you. They can also lead to a depression-free and anxiety-free state-of-mind.

7 Exercises to Do Right Now

Whether you are normally an active person or not, you may want to consult with your physician before taking part in any physical activities that may seem strenuous. Your doctor can let you know if the exercises listed below will work for you, particularly in conjunction with your current treatment plan.

Exercises that you can do include:

  • Running or Jogging: Running or even jogging is great for your health, which includes both the mind and body. Running allows you to do more than just burn calories and lose weight. Studies show that running also triggers the “feel good” neurotransmitters in your brain. Those neurotransmitters release both norepinephrine and serotonin, thus combating depression and anxiety.
  • Hiking: If you really want to improve your physical and mental health, consider hitting up a local hiking trail. Experts have proven that nature can have a calming impact on your mind, which reduces feelings of anxiety and depression. The sounds of nature and the sight of plants and trees can provide you with an improved sense of mental health.
  • Hit the Gym: If you are physically capable of doing so, you should hit the gym for a vigorous workout. Breaking a sweat gets your heart pumping, which in turn boosts the endorphins in your brain. Therefore, a sweat-inducing workout can create feelings of happiness and an overall sense of mental and physical well-being.
  • Take Up Yoga: Yoga is a great way to reduce feeling of depression. It can also help with anxiety. In fact, studies show that men and women who suffer from both ailments are less likely to experience symptoms if they participate in yoga compared to those who do not do yoga. The focus of Yoga is to improve flexibility and your mental state of mind, thus interrupting negative thoughts.
  • Try Some Tai Chi: Like Yoga, Tai Chi focuses on your mental well-being. People who participate in Tai Chi often feel centered, which allows them to break free from depressive thoughts and feelings. Individuals who participate in Tai Chi often experience a reduction in symptoms within just three months. If you take a Tai Chi class, there is also a social aspect that can help reduce feeling of depression and anxiety.
  • Take Part in Outdoor Activities: Heading outdoors for activities such as gardening and swimming can greatly improve your mental health. Not only is it calming to play in the dirt and plant a garden, exposure to the sun can create general feelings of happiness. Play frisbee golf with friends, plant a vegetable garden, or take a dip in a pool for some outdoor exercises.
  • Bounce on a Trampoline: Believe it or not, bouncing on a trampoline can do wonders for sufferers of depressive disorders and anxiety. You do not need to strain yourself by jumping around. Small, quick bounces work just as well. By bouncing, you improve oxygen levels in your brain, which encourages the flow of “feel good” endorphins.

Depression and anxiety does not have to rule your life. By carrying out one or all the exercises listed above, you can improve the condition of your mental health. If you find that you still feel depressed or anxious, contact a therapist for assistance. Sometimes simply talking about your feelings and gaining a better understanding of the symptoms can help tremendously.

Monica Ramunda is a solution-focused therapist with an office located in Louisville, Colorado for in-office visits. With a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and more than 16 years experience in therapy and counseling, Monica works as both a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Play Therapist (RPT) with adults and children respectively. Much of Monica’s success is based on her eclectic orientation and drawing on a wide range of different approaches and techniques all while remaining strongly grounded in the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Techniques (CBT).