Depression among teens is a pressing issue that is often left unaddressed. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adolescents experiences mental health issues at some point in their life, with depression being the most prevalent. While therapy and medication are excellent tools to help address depression, another less expensive and powerful weapon that teens can rely on is using exercise to overcome depression.
Imagine Nampa offers a depression treatment program that incorporates exercise to overcome depression and help your teen or adolescent move towards better mental and emotional well-being. Call 208.203.8574 today to learn more or get started.
Physical Activity and Mental Health in Youth
There are clear and proven benefits of physical activity and its impact on mental health in youth. Some of the beneficial links of using exercise to overcome depression include the following:
Exercise Releases Endorphins and Other Mood-boosting Neurotransmitters
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are feel-good brain chemicals that can help decrease the feeling of depression. When we work out, we also release other mood-boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which can improve our mood and help us to feel happier. By providing regular exercise, teens can boost how they feel and become more resilient to emotional stressors in their life.
Exercise combats Negative Thinking Patterns
One of the ways depression affects teens is by causing them to have negative and distorted thinking patterns. These thinking patterns can become habitual and make it more challenging to overcome depression.
- Exercise can help combat negative thinking patterns by reducing the frequency of negative thoughts and promoting positive ones.
- Exercise can serve as a distraction, providing a break from worrying and negative thoughts, which can help teens develop a new and healthier way of thinking.
Exercise Improves Self-Esteem
Many teens with depression do not have good self-esteem. Exercise can help improve their self-esteem, making them more confident in their abilities. When they exercise regularly, teens begin to feel better about themselves physically and mentally. Physical activity can increase muscle tone, reduce excess weight, and promote a more positive body image, all of which can improve self-confidence. Promoting self-esteem is one of the best ways to improve overall mood and mental health.
Exercise Provides Structure and a Sense of Purpose
When teens are depressed, they often lack a sense of purpose, which can make everyday tasks feel overwhelming. Exercise provides an opportunity to create structure in a teen’s life, and it can give them a sense of purpose. By setting exercise goals and committing to a routine, teens can create a sense of accomplishment and build confidence in their ability to complete a task, even if it’s one as basic as completing a workout plan.
Exercise Can Allow Opportunities for Social Interaction
Exercising may also provide teens with an opportunity to socialize with others. By joining a sports team, taking a fitness class, or exercising with friends, teens can manage depression and enjoy social interaction. By practicing regular exercise, teens can make new friends and feel less isolated, which can help counteract feelings of sadness and disconnection.
Contact Imagine Nampa Today – Learn About Using Exercise to Overcome Depression
Depression is a severe and debilitating mental health disorder, but we must never underestimate the power of exercise. There are many ways that exercise can help teens cope with depression, including the following:
- Exercise releases endorphins and other mood-boosting neurotransmitters
- Exercise combats negative thinking patterns
- Exercise improves self-esteem
- Exercise provides structure and a sense of purpose
- Exercise can allow opportunities for social interaction
- Improved sleep quality
- Increased energy levels
- Reduced stress levels
- Enhanced cognitive functioning and concentration ability
As parents and caregivers, we must encourage and motivate our teens to engage in regular physical activity. By doing so, we may be able to help them manage depression and enjoy a more fulfilling, happy life.