Depression, anxiety and stress can diminish with this one easy method
Controlling your mindset is one of the hardest things you can ever master during your lifetime. I have yet to master my own, although I have found ways to control the thought monster from getting out of control. A one size fits all approach doesn’t work for everyone, and some people may have to make a little bit of extra special effort to get to a place where they are comfortable. What I mean by that statement is having to develop the inner confidence to take on anything that comes your way — despite how heartbreaking it might be. For example, her six-month journey was a mixed bag of emotions when my mum was diagnosed with cancer. I was grateful to hear her voice every morning and spend time with her — but I knew she would eventually pass away. There were many moments during the six-month journey, from diagnosis until death, where I didn’t know how to cope. I had mounting deadlines at work, my own family, and this heartbreaking life path that I wasn’t ready to deal with. I felt so mentally and physically exhausted that I was clawing my way through the day — trying not to show mum how much my heart was breaking. This life-altering situation completely shifted my mindset, which I graciously practised for six months, and I must admit — it didn’t always work. I’d break down as anyone would, to friends or even when on a zoom call; it would hit me out of nowhere. But, I did find solace by practising a couple of things — one was writing here on Medium, and the other was walking. It makes perfect sense because the research is mounting with evidence that exercise improves cardiovascular health by helping to activate parts of the brain that counteract stress. A study found that people who did the recommended amount of physical activity every day were 17 per cent less likely to suffer from a problematic cardiovascular occurrence than those who did less. A 22 per cent risk reversal rating occurred with regular activity versus a 10 per cent reduction for those without either condition. Although this study shows the marvellous effects for those with stress-related psychiatric conditions, it does not suggest that exercise is only effective for those who suffer from depression and anxiety. The difference is that these people seem to derive a more significant cardiovascular benefit from physical activity. And that’s excellent news. Since Covid 19, depression and anxiety have magnified, and heart disease remains the predominant killer in the U.S. This study’s findings highlight the importance of exercise in maintaining heart health and creating a promising pathway towards sound mental health.
I completely understand that people cannot always get the recommended amount of exercise daily. Don’t get caught up in the amount stated here — because a small amount of daily activity is far better than doing nothing. If you suffer from daily stress and anxiety, applying a small amount of activity during this heightened time will benefit you. And the extra exercise will help if your job is very demanding and requires long hours of focused work. This can (over time) lead to depression and anxiety.Therefore, it’s essential to structure moments when you can have a break — go for a walk, grab some water, or have a conversation with friends. Switching off for 10–20 minutes at the very least is not such a challenging task. What level of importance do you place on your health? If you don’t have good health, what do you have instead? Time is of the essence, and we never seem to have enough. When we are sick, time does go by very slowly. We must magnify those moments of health by doing the things which will regularly increase our quality of life. If you need to speak to someone, know that people are waiting and willing to give you a helping hand. Please see your local mental health facilities or helplines in the area. I urge you to seek a friendly ear to lay your load onto — we could all use that sometimes.
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