When we are feeling down, we tend to reduce our activity levels, have trouble sleeping and eating, and think negative thoughts. It can get to the point where we lack the energy and motivation to go to work or get together with friends as we find it hard to see the point of doing anything at all.
We often underestimate the extent to which exercise and activity can help us feel better by:
- Increasing our self-image and self-esteem
- Increasing our energy levels
- Increasing our motivation to engage in activity
- Increasing our ability to concentrate and put things into perspective
- Helping us to distance ourselves from whatever is distressing us so when we return to it, we are more able to cope
- Giving us a sense of accomplishment and fulfilling
- Stimulating our body’s production of natural anti-depressants (e.g. endorphins)
- Improving our dietary and sleeping patterns
In engaging in physical activity, we are more likely to feel a sense of accomplishment, enjoyment, and connection to others. Schedule a variety of activities which can help you fulfill these needs. It may be helpful to start small and build up to more strenuous activities so that you keep your goals realistic and thereby increase the chances of success.
Next: Letting Go of the Past