Exercise and My Mental Health

For the past few months, I have been trying my best to be more active in my daily life. It started as me trying to prove a point to my significant other, but slowly it has become something more, a personal challenge and transformation. My previous posts have been mostly me recounting the effect of exercise on my body, but lately, I have been wondering more about the effect it has on my mental well-being.

Mental health is a big part of my life and is something I struggle with daily. Being diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and general anxiety, for me, means I have more bad days than good. The question is how can I better live with it? What are the steps I can take to better manage it?

I have long heard that being more active can help, and as I delve more into my repressed memories with my therapist, I am noticing a pattern. I was better when I was more active. There were more stable days, fewer racing thoughts, higher self-esteem, and self-confidence. Being active helped me cope with the dark times. The problem right now is, I have been in a dark phase for a long time and I had long strayed from being consistently active.

This brings me to this point in my life, this new phase. For the past three months, I have noticed a minor improvement in my general disposition. Especially on the days when I start them with some kind of exercise. Maybe it’s the release of endorphins or the sense of accomplishment, but it helps. The bad days are still there, heck some were even on days I worked out, but the chance that this is working, the mere possibility, is giving me a reason to keep trying.

Especially now. Why? I haven’t seriously worked out for a few weeks, and I noticed the bad days are increasing. My mood has been bleak, I dread work, home, everything. So I am back on the wagon as of this week. I know it will take some consistency and discipline, but I know how it works, and having a routine can go a long way to helping me bring some stability to my life, and that’s all I crave right now. Stability. Slow and steady.

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