Combating Depression: Exercise Your Mind, Body

I know it’s common for people to not fully respond to medication regimens for curing their anxiety and depression. Therapy can and does help, but if you are like me, you have done almost everything you can think of to adjust your medications, with the help of your doctor.

Going through medication adjustments are bad enough, but going through medication changes can alter life plans and leave you in a worse place than where you started. At least until the medication settles in.

I’ve recently found however that there are alternative methods that could help me combat my depression, anxiety, and paranoia. If I gave you some alternatives to try, would you give them a chance? There are both physical and mental alternatives that can be used with the standard regimen of medication and counseling.

I have been suffering with depression and paranoia/anxiety for what seems like most, if not all, of my life. The most recent obstacle keeping me from working is a medication adjustment and lack of coping skills to deal with paranoia. I feel like I have been trying most of my life to keep a job but my ailment has gotten in the way more times than I care to mention.

But now there seems to be hope through some recent ideas that I have learned from my doctors. One of the coping mechanisms is to write in a gratitude journal. I have tried this, and I do feel better after I use this, but I have had problems doing it on a regular basis. I know if I were to do it every day it would help immensely.

For more about writing in a gratitude journal, check out my previous article.

Another extremely effective way to combat some of the anxiety/paranoia that can come with depression is a way my counselor is having me try at this very moment. It involves worksheets that can be found by looking on the internet for CBT Worksheets or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Worksheets. I work through them whenever my anxiety/paranoia strikes.

The sheets show you the process to combat your anxious and paranoid thoughts. You are looking to create a habit and memorize the process of the worksheets so you can use the process to help with your anxiety/paranoia at any time and in any situation. Once you have them down to a habit you can think your way through them without problems at any time and during any circumstance. You can use this process to combat the feelings you are having and get back to some form of normalcy in a short time and continuing on to a productive and enjoyable day.

The last way I have heard of to combat depression is exercise. I personally wish I had known about this method sooner, as it is readily available to many, and it is common to have many options when choosing a gym and what form of exercise is best for you. Any form of exercise can help lessen the symptoms that come with depression, and there are also many other health benefits associated with exercise.

I am now seriously thinking of joining a gym to reap the benefits even a little movement in my life would provide. Everything is starting to come together and show me what I should be doing to combat my suffering.

If you’re not ready for a gym membership, an exercise routine that is perfect to start with is walking. Walking a half-hour daily outdoors is not only a great form of exercise, but being out in the sun is also great light therapy for dealing with symptoms of depression.

If you are skeptical, read on to learn about some of the benefits that exercise can provide to those of us suffering from depression.

For starters, when you exercise you become healthier and fitter, this can lead to pride in your accomplishments, and lead to you having a better self-image. Your confidence then increases along with your self-esteem.

It’s common for people with depression to suffer from lack of motivation, but exercise, through the release of endorphins, gives an energizing affect. There are also social benefits to working out with other people. Comradery can lead to friendships, and helps keep us on track to meeting our goals with accountability to others in the group.

Some people don’t respond to medication and counseling the way they would hope. If you are one of these people, isn’t it nice to know that there is something you can do to help yourself?!

Plus, this is a more natural way of combating the disease rather than depending solely on medication. It is a more holistic approach.

Writing in a gratitude journal will help keep me thinking positively and will help me from getting depressed. This along with my new to me coping skills for dealing with paranoia and anxiety will help me lead a more normal and meaningful life, like I have wanted for years. And then there is exercise, which will help me maintain an even stronger grip on life and living giving me more hope to live life to the fullest.

What do you think? Have you tired or willing to try any of these methods?


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