A Healthy Lifestyle Helps Combat Depression

Depression affects nearly 19 million people within the U.S. and is one of the most common illnesses. Depression is a serious illness, but there is good news– there are many ways to combat depression without relying only on prescription medication. Changes in lifestyle, like exercise, a targeted yoga therapy practice for depression, and dietary changes can provide help for depression and dramatically improve an individual’s overall well being.

Depression Causes

Before you can combat the symptoms of depression, it can be useful to properly identify the potential underlying causes. Most medical professionals believe that depression results when specific chemicals within the body are imbalanced. Neurotransmitters, otherwise referred to as chemical messengers, help the body to communicate. When these chemicals are imbalanced, individuals have trouble regulating their moods.

The obvious question then, is what causes the chemical imbalances that causes mood disturbances? This is, in part, where lifestyle comes in. Lifestyle patterns can lead to subtle chemical changes in the body, triggering depression. This is one reason why depression often results from changes in lifestyle or environmental surroundings, as a result of illness or disease, and following certain medical treatments. While there in some cases may be a genetic predisposition to depression, even people who are genetically vulnerable to depression can often find help for depression by keeping a healthy lifestyle pattern with a healthy diet, enough rest, and regular exercise, such as yoga for depression.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression severity ranges, from slight changes in mood to severe depression which can cause an individual to be classified as disabled. According to the Center for Disease Control, depression is a leading cause of disability of individuals between the ages of 15 and 44. Individuals suffering from depression often exhibit both physical and emotions symptoms. The most common symptoms of depression include sadness, loss of interest, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, aches and pains, hopelessness and decreased energy levels. Each individual will experience their own unique set of symptoms as it relates to depression.

Yoga for Depression

There are proven options available for fighting depression. And while many individuals turn to prescription drugs as treatment options, others prefer more natural approaches such as beginning the practice of yoga, which focuses on healing the mind, body and spirit through focused breathing exercises. Promising research is being conducted, focusing on the connection between mental health and certain forms of exercise.

Exercise and focused breathing can positively impact an individual’s mood and state of mind by restoring balance to the body’s internal chemical environment. Endorphins are created through exercise, including many of the more challenging yoga positions. Breathing exercises which focus on slow, fluid breath can effectively relax the body, reducing stress and anxiety, both effective in the fight against depression. Overall, yoga therapy shows great promise for individuals needing help with depression.

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