Believe it or not, physical health can have a large influence on a person’s mental health . In fact, it is found that people who are more active and more physically fit tend to be happier people overall. While this may not be true for everyone, good physical health can certainly increase the chances of better mental health . Does this mean that better physical health can cure depression? Not necessarily. There are many different types of depression and different people suffer depression for different reasons. Some depression is genetic, some is caused by a traumatic event and for others there does not to be any specific cause for the individual to be suffering from depression. Good physical health is just another way for someone to lesson the chances of falling into a depression. For some, more exercise can actually help them with their depression because it gets them more active and allows less time for dwelling on things that bother the person. In fact, some have deemed exercise as a natural antidepressant.
Viewing exercise as a natural antidepressant, one has to wonder how this would affect the mind. Apparently, studies have shown that exercising increases activity in the hippocampus and the frontal lobes, releases endorphins in the body, as well as possibly increases the production of certain types of neurotransmitters that improve a person’s mood. Studies and research is still being done to further the understanding of how exercising and improving an individual’s physical health can positively influence the state of their mental health . Besides looking at exercise as a natural antidepressant and looking at other reasons why being more fit can actually improve a person’s outlook on their selves, one has to think about the many other benefits of exercising that can make a person happier overall. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress after a long day and difficult day. It also helps get the body into better physical condition that can make a person look and feel more attractive. It will also help to reduce chances of developing diseases, such as any number of heart problems, cancers or diabetes, which can have a negative impact on an individual’s mental health .
The more one thinks about it, the more they realize that the physical state of their body can have an incredibly large impact on their mental state. A person who is not in good physical condition have a tendency to feel more self-conscious of their selves or even have less confidence in their selves. This example clearly shows how a person’s physical health can impact either positively or negatively on a person’s mental health . While exercise is a great way to try and improve mood, confidence and avoid depression, anyone experiencing depression should still contact a therapist. Online therapy is available for anyone who needs to talk to someone who can help them work through their depression. Exercise is a decent treatment for some, but an online therapist can also greatly increase the chances of an individual getting rid of their depression. Many people with depression who have seriously wanted to improve their lives and get out of their depression have consulted an online therapist. Online counseling is so effective that most people who consult an online counselor or therapist are successfully.
by Dr. Jennifer Baxt, DMFT