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The Mood & Mind Centre

Psychology Clinic

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Sleep, Diet and Exercise can improve Depression

Posted on 15 December, 2019 at 10:00
The proven positive effects that sleep, diet and exercise have on people suffering from Depression is not a quick fix but a lifestyle that can help improve general mental health. Since sleep and depression both affect your brain, they can have big effects on each other, as well. When you're well-rested, you'll not only have more energy, but you may also have a more upbeat view on life and better focus. Regular exercise may help ease depression and anxiety by: Releasing feel-good endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids) and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood. But, we are realistic - Depression manifests physically by causing disturbed sleep, reduced energy, appetite changes, body aches, and increased pain perception, all of which can result in less motivation to exercise. It's a hard cycle to break, but getting up and moving just a little bit will help. Start with five minutes a day of walking or any activity you enjoy. Soon, five minutes of activity will become 10, and 10 will become 15. You probably know that the food you eat affects your body. Eating a nutritious diet helps you keep a healthy body weight and a healthy heart. It also helps reduce your risk of developing some chronic diseases AND it also affects your mood and mental health. Studies have advised that people who eat lots of fast food are more likely to have depression than those who eat mostly fresh produce. Processed foods, especially those high in sugar and refined carbs, may contribute to a higher risk of depression. Your diet also has an effect on your sleeping pattern. For your best night's sleep, strive to eat a balanced diet that emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins that are rich in B vitamins, like fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy. What it boils down to is that what we eat matters for every aspect of our health, but especially our mental health and when we eat good foods, we have the energy to exercise, which helps with sleep and a good night??s sleep leaves us well rested with more energy. And so the healthy living cycle goes on. Keep moving, keep eating healthy and sleep well! You CAN do this. Written by Colette Dekker, December 2019

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