According to the latest statistics, the number of people reporting depressive symptoms worldwide is increasing. The United States is being hit particularly hard with a reported 1 in 6 people diagnosed as depressed.
The best strategies for fighting depression include mindset techniques that enable you to build self-esteem and find your purpose in life.
Walking can be a beneficial and accessible way to help manage depression. While it’s not a replacement for self-development treatments, regular physical activity can contribute to improved mental health — especially if you walk in a group.
Depression can lead to social withdrawal and isolation. Engaging in regular walks, whether alone or with others, can help combat feelings of isolation by providing opportunities for connection.
Spending time around like-minded people is also an effective method of fighting anxiety and depression. Overcoming depression involves nurturing your emotional well-being and self-confidence.
Release A Natural Cocktail of Anti-Depressants
Anti-depressants are designed to replace natural chemicals your brain is not producing. But your brain is not producing the right neurotransmitters because of your lifestyle choices.
Walking stimulates the release of endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that act as natural mood lifters. Endorphins can enhance feelings of well-being and reduce symptoms of depression.
Other neurotransmitter releases such as serotonin and dopamine also play key roles in regulating mood, and their levels are often imbalanced in individuals with depression.
Walking in a group and bonding with people also releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone and neuropeptide which plays a crucial role in social bonding, trust, and emotional regulation.
Healthy social bonds and relationships are essential for mental well-being, and oxytocin may contribute to the positive feelings associated with social connections.
Oxytocin has been shown to have stress-reducing effects. Chronic stress is a significant factor in the development and exacerbation of depression. Lowering stress hormone levels can contribute to a calmer and more relaxed state of mind.
Walking is known to help clear the mind. Regular physical activity has been associated with improved cognitive function. This can be particularly relevant for individuals dealing with depression, as it may enhance mental clarity and focus.
With a less clouded mind, you’re able to think more clearly and establish some life goals. Accomplishing these goals, even if they are small, can provide a sense of accomplishment and boost self-esteem.
Walking also exposes you to natural light, especially during daylight hours, which can have a positive impact on mood and regulate circadian rhythms. Walking outdoors exposes individuals to sunlight, which can be beneficial for those dealing with depression.
Natural sunlight and exercise also contribute to better sleep quality. Quality sleep is crucial for overall mental well-being, and disruptions in sleep patterns are often associated with depression.
If you need motivation to walk, why not download the Sweatcoin app? What’s great about this app is that it converts your steps into digital tokens you can use to purchase merchandise from over 300 retailers. Buying new shiny things can also lift your mood and ease depressive symptoms.