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So What’s the Answer to Depression? Huh?

Hawkins Creek

Bet I’ve got the cure! Let’s see……..how about The Big One, resurrection of the dead? Or plenty of money? Kids that don’t screw up and embarrass us? A cure for my cancer? How about ridding the world of fibromyalgia?

Personally, I like Eternal Life best.

Yeah. Those cures would work for depression.

Most of us become depressed for one reason. The reason covers all the bases, pretty much. The reason is this: depression occurs over serious problems that we cannot solve. Depression arises from continual frustration about some issue. Some of us are only subliminally aware of the issue, so we cannot voice a specific problem. We have just lost the spark to life, and we are sitting around in the ashes. Sometimes we don’t have much energy to rise from the fire pit.

Often, our current reality cries an endless litany in our heads, like:

I’ve lost everything! Why can’t I do anything right? Life cannot ever be the same without my daughter. I’ve lost my house, my place in the world and now I have nowhere to go. I never feel well! I can’t sleep…….I can’t eat………I don’t care………zzzz.

(By the way,  I was lying about the cures mentioned in the first paragraph. That was just a little slice of my ideal world. In my ideal world, I wouldn’t need to make a living, either, so you wouldn’t be reading these words. )

The bottom line in the real world is survival, friend.  Survival only happens when action is taken.

Like what?! Put on a happy face? 

Um….no. Some interesting studies have been done, enabling  me to cobble together two fairly incongruous notions and come up with a plan. The incompatible equation posits this:  Exercise (is not equal to) Depression. In other words, exercise has serious effects on depression.

Yeah! Like, going to the gym is depressing!

In fact, that is a false hypothesis. Just the opposite can occur, with some persistence. Why is that?

First of all, we find we only have so much control in life, and the person/circumstance we can control is ourselves. By focusing upon control of personal outcome, the negative litany in our heads grows dimmer, and is replaced with positive action concerning ourSELVES.

Web MD reports:

Improved self-esteem is a key psychological benefit of regular physical activity. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.

Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.” That feeling, known as a “runner’s high,” can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.

Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives.

Let me ask you: Is depression synonymous with self-esteem? No. Is pain often a component of illness? Yes.

And the final question: Is this an easy cure? No.

All survival and improvement comes through persistence  in dealing with something that is difficult.  Frankly, taking a walk or going to a gym is the last thing a person who is ill, overweight, or chronically fatigued wants to think about.  But, again, is feeling the way you have been feeling any easier to bear? Not in the long run.

Overcoming depression is done one step at a time. Achieving fitness is done one step at a time.

You might consider it.

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