May is Mental Health Awareness Month – Mental Health Post a Day in May – May 8th

My Loud Whispers of Hope

Depression

Who is Affected by Depression?

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO),350 million people of all ages worldwide suffer from depression.
  • The NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) estimates that in the United States, 16 million adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2012. That’s 6.9 percent of the population.
  • Depression is a leading cause of disability. ~Jan 28, 2015
  • Depression is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
  • More women are affected by depression than men.
  • Depression causes people to lose pleasure from daily life, can complicate other medical conditions, and can even be serious enough to lead to suicide.
  • Depression can occur to anyone, at any age, and to people of any race or ethnic group.  Depression is never a “normal” part of life, no matter what your age, gender or health situation.
  • While the majority of individuals with depression have…

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Does Exercise Help Ease Depression?

When you are suffering from depression, exercise seems like the last thing on your mind. However, if you can just motivate yourself to get started, it can create a huge difference. Exercise helps to prevent various health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure. Research on depression indicates that the physical and psychological benefits of exercise can improve mood and reduce anxiety.
How Does Exercise Help Depression?
The links between depression, anxiety and exercise are not crystal clear. However, working out and other forms of physical exercise have been shown to ease the symptoms of depression and leave you feeling better. Working out regularly can help to reduce depression in the following ways.
* Confidence booster
Meeting exercise challenges and goals, regardless of how big or small they are, can improve your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also improve your physical appearance while leaving you feeling good.
* Keep worries away
Physical activity and exercise, is a positive form of distraction. It can keep away the cycle of negative thoughts, which feed depression and anxiety. In addition to that, every time you feel low, just hit the gym and you will feel reinvigorated.
* It provides a platform for social interaction
Exercising may give you an opportunity to meet and socialize with others. As you do your morning jog or head to the gym, chances are very high that others will join you. Exchanging a simple greeting or even a smile can lift your spirits.
* Healthy way of coping
People cope with depression in different ways. Some will abuse drugs and drown their sorrows in alcohol. This just worsens the problem. Alcohol is not a long-term solution to anything. The depression will be back as soon as you are sober. On the other hand, physical activity and exercise will help you to cope with the depression in a healthy way.
Which exercises are recommended?
Most people believe that structured exercises are the only option. However, any form of physical activity, including light walking can boost your mood. Exercise and physical activity are different but they both have long-lasting health benefits.
Exercising does not mean running laps round the gym. There is a wide range of exercises that can improve your mood, without stretching yourself too much. Although lifting weights, running and playing basketball can get your heart pumping and ease your depression, simple activities like gardening, washing your car and walking around your home can also help.
Any physical activity that gets you out of the house can help to improve your mood. Remember that you don’t have to do all the exercises in a single day. Just spread them out throughout the week. Incorporate smaller activities into your daily schedule. For example, instead of using the elevator, take the stairs. Park further from your workplace so that you can walk a longer distance. If you live close to your workplace, just walk.
Bottom Line
Doing a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day, for at least 3 times per week can improve your mood and significantly reduce your depression symptoms. The health benefits of physical activity and exercise will only last if you stick to a schedule for a long time. Once you choose an exercise you love, you will never feel pushed to exercise.

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Why Journaling is Good For Mental Health

Bipolar tendencies, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, stress related confusion, and paranoia are all mental issues that many people face. Though there are varying degrees of mental health issues and symptoms many of the treatment options may not work for you. You may also be in a situation where you want to stay away from chemicals or simply can not afford the insurance costs to get the ongoing counseling you need. Journaling may be an answer for your minor to moderate anxiety and mental health issues. Here are a few reasons why.

Rooting Out the Problems

When you journal, you will likely be doing it during an issue with anxiety or depression. This means your thoughts may be manic, fast, or very slow but emotional. As you write, you will likely start off with what you feel the problem is because that is the immediate issue in your mind. As you move through the writing, you may find yourself moving towards the root of the problem without even realizing it. This can help you find what the root issue is and fix that issue to prevent further mental health issues or, at the very least, reduce them.

Outlets When You are Alone

All too often, we find that our depression or mental health issues occur when we are alone. They may be in the middle of the night when no one is awake or during the day when your friends and family are busy with their own lives and responsibilities. This makes journaling ideal. You can still talk it out and get it out of your system, you are just talking to your journal instead.

Figuring Out Triggers

There is an issue with certain mental health issues. You know you are depressed, anxious, stressed, or about to have a bipolar swing but you may not know what brought it on. Journaling can lead you to figuring out the triggers. This allows you to pinpoint them, work through them through reviewing your journal entries, and remove them. Once you can remove the triggers, or avoid them, you can move into a better mental health state and reduce further reactions.

Though journaling will not cure mental health issues, it can help reduce some of the symptoms that cause your day to derail. If you are having increased stress and issues, consider seeking care from a community counselor for assistance.