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Lowered Depression and Improved Ability to Change: 3 Weeks of Exercise
From:
Madelaine Claire Weiss, LICSW, MBA, BCC -- MIndOverMatters Madelaine Claire Weiss, LICSW, MBA, BCC -- MIndOverMatters
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Washington, DC
Monday, August 9, 2021

 

Table of Contents

Depression in the U.S.

You already know you tend to feel better after you worked out. But did you know that physical activity can help to you change and adapt?

What better time than now to boost our capacity to change. The change upon us right now is head spinning, especially, for example, the changes in how, where, when, and with whom we work.

So many people are suffering severe distress at the thought of going back to work. Really. They are.

And, the deluge of decisions on how to reconfigure work so they don’t lose their talent are no day at the beach for employers either.

You have likely heard yourself how prevalent depression is in the U.S. right now:

From June 23 to July 5, 2021, around 21 percent of U.S. adults reported symptoms of depressive disorder in the past week.

Given how all over the news anxiety and depression are right now as a health concern for so many, for so many reasons, that actually seems low.

Works for Depression

So, it’s always nice to hear about something that works. From the study:

The study team ascertained the severity of the depressive symptoms, such as a loss of drive and interest, lack of motivation and negative feelings, both before and after the programme. The brain’s ability to change, known as neuroplasticity, was also measured. It can be determined externally with the help of transcranial magnetic stimulation. “The ability to change is important for all of the brain’s learning and adaptation processes,” explains Karin Rosenkranz.

I’ve written before how much play, in general, can be just what the doctor order to keep us emotionally fit. From that piece, and in the words of performance coach, Joe Robinson:

When you’re stressed, the brain’s activated emotional hub, the amygdala, suppresses positive mood, fueling a self-perpetuating cycle of negativity. Play can break you out of that straitjacket. It’s the brain’s reset button. This tonic we write off as trivial is a crucial engine of well-being. In its low-key, humble way, play yanks grownups out of their purposeful sleepwalk to reveal the animating spirit within. You are alive, and play will prove it to you.

Works for Adaptation to Change

So if you’re energy is not what you need it to be for the challenges upon us, well then, get moving.

Get with the program. And know that  — now more than ever — and likely forever more into the future—THAT PROGRAM IS CHANGE.

As in, “Change is the only constant in life” (Heraclitus).

The world has always belonged to those best adapted to their changing environments, premise of my book,  “Getting to G.R.E.A.T.”

But be careful here. Let’s say you are designing or redesigning your physical activity for the dual benefits of lifting your mood and increasing you adaptation to change…

Goldilocks Principle: Not so much that it overwhelms and shuts you down. Too big a bite out of your day and you won’t do it. And there is such a thing as adrenaline exhaustion from working out too much. You also don’t want to put so much performance pressure on you that the physical activity becomes the energy draining stressor itself.

Not too big, but not so little that you and your brain are bored. The brain’s motivational center needs a little excitement to keep it up. So, not too big, not too little but find your just right.

I should mention that both the study and control groups in this research did their physical activity in supportive, non-competitive groups, so while physical activity showed an edge, not clear how much a factor the company of others may have been.

Just for fun, here is a piece I wrote on the motivational effect of the company of pets.

See what you can come up with, practice, practice, practice…and let us know.

Warmly,

Madelaine

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

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Name: Madelaine Claire Weiss
Group: MindOverMatters, LLC
Dateline: Washington, DC United States
Direct Phone: 202-285-8644
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