Managing Depression: 5 Types of Movement That Can Improve Your Mood
Updated: Feb 5
Depression can make everyday life more challenging. While behavioral therapy for depression is central to treatment, your counselor may also recommend some lifestyle changes to help boost your mood. Exercise has been proven to release endorphins, improve sleep, and reduce overall stress, all of which can help you manage your depression. Here are some of the best ways to get your body moving and support your mental health.
When you’re struggling with your mental health, it can be helpful to get outside. The outdoors provides the physical and mental space you need to process your emotions. Sunshine can also boost your serotonin levels. Hiking is a great way to move your body, quiet your thoughts, and reconnect with yourself. You can also share this activity with a friend, giving you a chance to talk about your mental health struggles.
Yoga has countless physical, mental, and emotional benefits. This type of moment can ease the brain’s stress response and reduce feelings of anxiety. Studies also show that yoga can play an effective role in depression treatment. Yoga is low-impact and easy to do anywhere. Whether you prefer to flow on your own or join a group yoga class, adding this movement into your routine can calm the mind and boost your sense of self.
If low-impact movement is what you’re looking for, tai chi can be a great option. This Chinese martial arts practice is a type of meditative movement, which has been shown to ease depression symptoms. As you flow through a slow series of movements, you can slow down your thoughts, tune into your body’s sensations, and simply breathe. Your therapist may recommend thai chi and similar movement as part of a mindfulness practice.
Interested in getting your heart pumping? Running can trigger the release of endorphins and reduce stress, boosting your mood for the rest of the day. But if hitting the pavement isn’t your thing, any type of aerobic exercise will do. Team sports and exercise classes have similar mental health effects. If you aren’t sure about which type of cardio is right for you, a health coach can help you decide.
Dance is the ultimate feel-good movement. Whether you dance around the kitchen while you cook, or sign up for ballroom classes, getting your groove on can boost your mood, lower your stress levels, and improve concentration. So, whenever you feel up to it, be sure to turn on your favorite song and try out some new moves.
Here at The Collective, our team of mental and behavioral health experts know that movement is integral to holistic wellness. This is why we take a multifaceted approach to mental health, offering the depression counseling Denver residents trust. Our behavioral health services include individual therapy, group counseling, psychiatric services, holistic behavioral care services, and more. Contact us today to get started.