If you’re looking for relief from the symptoms of depression, it’s natural to consider antidepressants and other medication to help, but you do have other options. Aside from therapy, studies show that exercise and hypnosis are excellent options.
How Exercise Helps Depression
Studies conducted at Harvard University show that 30-minutes of brisk walking five times a week, or 60-minutes of brisk walking three times a week, can help ease the symptoms of depression. Although the link between depression and exercise isn’t entirely clear, researchers have some thoughts on how exercise impacts the symptoms of depression.
Exercise helps release feel-good chemicals. These include neurotransmitters, endorphins, and endocannabinoids, all of which counteract the changes in brain chemistry caused by depression. Endorphins interact with neurotransmitters in the brain to reduce a person’s perception of pain, and they also trigger a positive feeling in the body. Endocannabinoids trigger a more positive mood, which allows those with depression to focus on the good aspects of their life. In addition, exercise also reduces the immune system chemicals which can make depression worse.
Researchers believe the psychological and emotional benefits of exercise also help with depression, as well. For example, when you exercise regularly, you typically gain more confidence in yourself, focus less on your worries and more on the present moment – a significant factor in reducing depression symptoms, and engage more through social interaction. All of these help manage the symptoms of depression, and all without taking medication.
When you’re suffering from depression, the last thing you may want to do is exercise, but once you get moving, it makes a difference. Studies show that patients who participated in a structured exercise regiment and continued that program showed continued improvement, even six months after leaving the study.
How Hypnosis Helps Depression
There is an entire body of scientific research that shows hypnosis works, and helps people. It creates a highly relaxed inner state of being, and it helps patients focus and concentrate on the moment. Hypnosis counteracts the affects of depression because it influences brain activity. Although depression is not completely understood, researchers do know that it is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Because hypnosis influences brain activity and creates a deep state of calmness, it helps the imbalance that causes depression in the first place. Although neither exercise nor hypnosis are an outright cure for depression, the benefits of both do impact the symptoms.
Dealing with depression is difficult, and it is often misunderstood. But, that doesn’t mean you have to live with depression. By incorporating these activities into your daily routine, you can relieve your symptoms. With proper treatment and care from your doctor, it’s possible you can heal without the need for antidepressants or other medication, but be sure to talk with your doctor to find the best treatment options for your situation. If depression has been a major part of your life, let this be the year that you finally find the relief you deserve.
To learn more about the stigma of mental health illnesses and how to become more empowered with a diagnosis, please check out A Blueprint When Feeling Blue: How A Mental Health Diagnosis Can Be Empowering.
*Note: If you have depression, depression-like symptoms or interested in a starting a new workout routine, you should seek help from a medical doctor. The information provided in this post is meant to offer support along with your doctor’s guidance.
About the Author: Dr. Steve G. JONES, Ed.D. is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist who has been practicing hypnotherapy since the 1980’s. He is the author of 25 books on such topics as hypnosis, the law of attraction and weight loss. Dr. Steve has also created over 9,000 hypnosis audio recordings and 22 different online certification programs, which are sold in over 140 countries. Dr. Steve G. Jones works extensively with Hollywood actors, writers, directors, and producers, helping them achieve their very best. He has been featured on Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker as both a hypnotherapist and a millionaire and has been interviewed on CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS. Learn More…