A Stupid Simple Way to Instantly Improve Mood
All over the nation, millions and millions of Americans are down in the dumps.
The sad truth is the number of people who struggle with depression and anxiety is at an all-time high. And because that’s true… the numbers of people taking drugs to stabilize their mood are also at an all-time high.
I’m not sure how you feel about anti-depressants, but the more I learn about this class of drugs, the less enthusiastic I am about them.
Especially when I know there are a number of natural and drug-free ways to help relieve these mental problems.
Like taking a walk to almost instantly improve your mood.
A recent study conducted by the University of Connecticut (UConn) discovered a simple walk is more than enough to help people feel better. This is good news for people who are depressed but don’t want to take drugs to improve their mood.
Now this kind of research isn’t necessarily revealing anything new. Plenty of studies conducted prior to this one bolster the claim that walking (and other physical exercise) improves mood.
But the researchers wanted to know which got the best results.
To get to the bottom of this, they followed 419 healthy, middle-aged adults and gave them accelerometers (I had to look up the definition of these… they’re simple devices that you place on the body to measure acceleration) and tracked them for four days.
During the study, the subjects were asked about their daily exercise routines, psychological well-being, level of depression, whether they experienced pain and its severity, as well as the extent to which pain disrupted their day-to-day activities.
Here’s What Walks Did
For Their Mental Health
The first thing the researchers observed is that healthy people who were mostly sedentary initially reported having the lowest levels of well-being and the highest levels of depression.
This supported the findings of other studies linking physical activity to psychological health.
As they moved through the four days of observation, they found when people were involved in some form of physical activity (this time it was walking), they typically reported feeling better in general.
But the one thing that was really was worth noting was how the level of physical activity affected a person’s levels of well-being.
As reported in Medical News Today:
“Light-intensity activity, for example, was associated with greater psychological well-being and lower depression, while moderate-intensity activity was linked to higher psychological well-being and reduced pain severity.
Light-intensity activity was defined by the study as a leisurely walk that does not noticeably raise heart rate, breathing, or sweating. Moderate-intensity activity was defined as walking a mile in 15 to 20 minutes, with a slight increase in heart rate, breathing, and sweating.”
One of the most profound findings was how sedentary people who started to exercise (regardless of intensity levels) were the ones to experience the greatest gains in mental well-being.
As the researchers wrote in their report:
"Recent studies had suggested a slightly unsettling link between vigorous activity and subjective well-being," says study co-author Beth Taylor, associate professor of kinesiology at UConn. "We did not find this in the current study, which is reassuring to individuals who enjoy vigorous activity and may be worried about negative effects."
The bottom line here is exercise doesn’t have to be ridiculously hard or extreme to help make you feel better…
You just have to do it.
I know I talk about this subject frequently, but if you’ve been reading my writing for any amount of time and don’t exercise, I highly recommend you start.
Unless you don’t like feeling good and all.