How to relieve stress: sports exercises against bad mood and depression

Stress prevention and getting rid of suppressed conditions come down to a simple recipe: more physical exertion. In the battle of sports with a bad mood and depression, sports wins.

Exercising helps to cheer you up, tone up, give optimism and relieve symptoms of depression.

Important! It is necessary to distinguish between clinical depression and what people call “depression”: poor mood, depression and loss of strength. Severe depression is a mental disorder that is a violation of affect. It is characterized by a “depressive triad”: decreased mood and loss of ability to experience joy, impaired thinking (negative judgments, a pessimistic view of what is happening, etc.), motor inhibition. With depression, self-esteem is reduced, there is a loss of interest in life and habitual activity. In some cases, a person suffering from it may begin to abuse alcohol or other psychotropic substances. If you notice all of the above symptoms, in addition to playing sports, seek qualified help. 

Regular sports, in addition to the obvious health benefits in the form of strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, improving the body, help: 

  1. Reduce stress.
  2. Fight off anxiety and depressive feelings.
  3. Raise self-esteem.
  4. Improve sleep.
  5. Increase vital energy.
  6. Get a healthy and fit look.

Exercising people have fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, and lower levels of stress and irritability. Exercise begins to act as antidepressants on certain neurotransmitter systems in the brain, and they help patients with bouts of depression regain a positive attitude towards life. For patients with anxiety disorders, exercise reduces fears and related symptoms, such as heart rate and breathing.

– Jasper Smiths, Program Manager for Anxiety Research and Treatment at Southern Methodist University of Dallas (USA) 

Despondency is a battle!

Let us turn to physiology.

Sugar level

Dosed loads even out blood sugar and eliminate the chronic muscle strain that occurs in constantly nervous people. This allows you to keep the stress level under control, and turns the negative into positive, because It contributes to the outburst of accumulated aggression outside and with benefit, and not on loved ones and with scandal.


During sports, the body produces endorphins, natural antidepressants. Endorphins (chemical compounds similar in structure to opiates, which are naturally produced in brain neurons) lead a person to a state of euphoria, for this reason he is often called the “hormone of happiness” or the “hormone of joy”.


Physiotherapists attribute the beneficial effects of sports in depression to the fact that physical activity causes an active flow of oxygen to all organs of the body, including the brain. This helps to reduce the symptoms of many mental anxieties, such as despondency, depression, stress, and insomnia.

Psychological benefits 

In times of stress and despondency, people tend to isolate themselves from the outside world (which subsequently draws depression into the abyss even deeper than everyday turmoil). Therefore, experts advise doing sports in the fresh air or with a group in the gym.

You try something new for yourself, something else – and that’s good.  

There are many factors, objective and subjective. Expanding the circle of friends. The emergence of new interests, knowledge and goals. Change of scenery and switching from depressing thoughts. Getting rid of aggression, anger and other destructive emotions. Improving self-esteem: if a person succeeds in performing an exercise, he becomes more confident in himself, and this puts gloomy thoughts in the background, allows you not to fall into despair, and a positive result will be reflected in the mirror.

Also individual perceptions: for example, you really like your new form, and rope jumping reminds you of your childhood.

The first study, designed to find out how physical activity affects mood, was conducted back in 1970 In it involved two groups of men. First -in a period of six weeks, trained: in the program included jogging, swimming, cycling. The second – led its usual sedentary lifestyle. As a result, it turned out that physical education lovers were much quicker to get out of their depressed state.         

getting rid of depression?

Any exercise, any exercise helps to alleviate the symptoms of depression, even if it is jumping in place. The main thing is that you like them, and you do not force yourself to do them.

At first, you probably have to spur yourself on, but then you will enjoy the training.

  • a ride on the bicycle,
  • dancing,
  • Hiking or walking
  • Wellness long-distance running 
  • morning or evening exercises , 
  • aerobics classes of medium complexity,
  • fitness classes in the gym,  
  • tennis,
  • swimming ,
  • aqua aerobics
  • yoga ,
  • any cardio training (even running in place and jumping rope).

Triathlon, bodybuilding, powerlifting or cross-fit are also suitable for someone. It is individual. Choose what you like and enjoy. After all, it is important to amuse yourself and feel a surge of strength.  

The main thing is to set goals for yourself. For example: swim 300 meters, walk 5 kilometers, be able to do 10 pull-ups or push-ups. Yes, these are small goals. The main thing is that they are achievable. And each time it is a victory: both over oneself and over a bad mood. And victory is the motivation not to give up and move on.      

Important! If you are over 50, or you have diabetes, or heart disease, or problems with bones and joints, consult your doctor before starting classes. 

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