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Science The exercise pill: How exercise keeps your brain healthy and protects it against depression and anxiety

Maiden Voyage

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As with many other physicians, recommending physical activity to patients was just a doctor chore for me – until a few years ago. That was because I myself was not very active. Over the years, as I picked up boxing and became more active, I got firsthand experience of positive impacts on my mind. I also started researching the effects of dance and movement therapies on trauma and anxiety in refugee children, and I learned a lot more about the neurobiology of exercise.

I am a psychiatrist and neuroscientist researching the neurobiology of anxiety and how our interventions change the brain. I have begun to think of prescribing exercise as telling patients to take their “exercise pills.” Now knowing the importance of exercising, almost all my patients commit to some level of exercise, and I have seen how it benefits several areas of their life and livelihood.

We all have heard details on how exercise improves musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, metabolic and other aspects of health. What you may not know is how this happens within the brain.

Brain biology and growth​

Working out regularly really does change the brain biology, and it is not just “go walk and you will just feel better.” Regular exercise, especially cardio, does change the brain. Contrary to what some may think, the brain is a very plastic organ. Not only are new neuronal connections formed every day, but also new cells are generated in important areas of the brain. One key area is the hippocampus, which is involved in learning and memory and regulating negative emotions.

A molecule called brain-derived neurotrophic factor helps the brain produce neurons, or brain cells. A variety of aerobic and high-intensity interval training exercises significantly increase BDNF levels. There is evidence from animal research that these changes are at epigenetic level, which means these behaviors affect how genes are expressed, leading to changes in the neuronal connections and function.

Moderate exercise also seems to have anti-inflammatory effects, regulating the immune system and excessive inflammation. This is important, given the new insight neuroscience is gaining into the potential role of inflammation in anxiety and depression.

Finally, there is evidence for the positive effects of exercise on the neurotransmitters – brain chemicals that send signals between neurons – dopamine and endorphins. Both of these are involved in positive mood and motivation.

Exercise improves clinical symptoms of anxiety and depression​

Researchers also have examined the effects of exercise on measurable brain function and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Exercise improves memory function, cognitive performance and academic achievement. Studies also suggest regular exercise has a moderate effect on depressive symptoms even comparable to psychotherapy. For anxiety disorders, this effect is mild to moderate in reducing anxiety symptoms. In a study that I conducted with others among refugee children, we found a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and PTSD among children who attended eight to 12 weeks of dance and movement therapies.

Exercise could even potentially desensitize people to physical symptoms of anxiety. That is because of the similarity between bodily effects of exercise, specifically high-intensity exercise, and those of anxiety, including shortness of breath, heart palpitation and chest tightness. Also, by reducing baseline heart rate, exercise might lead to signaling of a calmer internal physical environment to the brain.

It is important to note that the majority of studies examined the effects of exercise in isolation and not in combination with other effective treatments of clinical anxiety and depression, such as psychotherapy and medication. For the same reason, I am not suggesting exercise as a replacement for necessary mental health care of depression or anxiety, but as part of it, and for prevention.

Two men using exercise bars outdoors.
Many people have created outdoor gyms during the pandemic. Richard Baker/In Pictures via Getty Images, CC BY-SA

There are other perks besides the neurobiological impacts of exercise. When going out for a walk, one gets more exposure to sunlight, fresh air and nature. One of my patients befriended a neighbor during her regular walks, leading to regular taco Tuesdays with that new friend. I have made some great friends at my boxing gym, who are not only my motivators, but also a great supporting social network. One might pick a dog as their running mate, and another might meet a new date, or enjoy the high energy at the gym. Exercise can also function as a mindfulness practice and a respite from common daily stressors, and from our electronic devices and TV.

By increasing energy and fitness level, exercise can also improve self-image and self-esteem .

Practical ways for a busy life​

So how can you find time to exercise, especially with all the additional time demands of the pandemic, and the limitations imposed by the pandemic such as limited access to the gyms?

  • Pick something you can love. Not all of us have to run on a treadmill (I actually hate it). What works for one person might not work for another. Try a diverse group of activities and see which one you will like more: running, walking, dancing, biking, kayaking, boxing, weights, swimming. You can even rotate between some or make seasonal changes to avoid boredom. It does not even have to be called an exercise. Whatever ups your heartbeat, even dancing with the TV ads or playing with the kids.
  • Use positive peer pressure to your advantage. I have created a group messaging for the boxing gym because at 5:30 p.m., after a busy day at the clinic, I might have trouble finding the motivation to go to the gym or do an online workout. It is easier when friends send a message they are going and motivate you. And even if you do not feel comfortable going to a gym during the pandemic, you can join an online workout together.
  • Do not see it as all or none. It does not have to be a one-hour drive to and from the gym or biking trail for a one-hour workout vs. staying on the couch. I always say to my patients: “One more step is better than none, and three squats are better than no squats.” When less motivated, or in the beginning, just be nice to yourself. Do as much as possible. Three minutes of dancing with your favorite music still counts.
  • Merge it with other activities: 15 minutes of walking while on the phone with a friend, even around the house, is still being active.
  • When hesitant or low on motivation, ask yourself: “When was the last time I regretted doing it?”
  • Although it can help, exercise is not the ultimate weight loss strategy; diet is. One large brownie might be more calories than one hour of running. Don’t give up on exercise if you are not losing weight. It is still providing all the benefits we discussed.
Even if you do not feel anxious or depressed, still take the exercise pills. Use them for protecting your brain.

Nothing revolutionary here but alway a good reminder of the very real & tangible benefits to routine exercise besides just gains.
 

6502

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I used to have a physical job so thought I got enough exercise. Now I am more office based.

I got a home gym a couple of years ago and honestly, just an hour every few days made a huge difference. It is a genuine high.

When the wife decided her hoarding would progress to filling the garage with other peoples shit I noticed the hit more on the mind than the body (that is more gradual).

Stupid wife.

Exercise folks, this guy is right.

Not just walking if a bloke - lift weights and work legs. Don't have to be arnold, just enough that it is an effort for you.
 
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poppabk

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A couple of years ago I was in the best physical shape of my life, exercising regularly, eating right, and was at my worst depression wise.
Exercise is nearly always good for you, but it is also not some magic cure for mental health.
 
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A.Romero

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I've been excercising 5 times a week for little over a year now and while I have notice the physical impact the mental impact hasn't been that high or not as obvious. Still, it's worth it. 45 - 60 minutes a day and you don't even need to invest much more than a mat and do some bodyweight excercise. Build the habit through discipline and afterwards start spending.
 

sackings

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A couple of years ago I was in the best physical shape of my life, exercising regularly, eating right, and was at my worst depression wise.
Exercise is nearly always good for you, but it is also not some magic cure for mental health.
I think for normies like myself it should make a huge difference. But obviously if you have some kind of mental health officially diagnosed you need medication. My sister has clinical depression and takes meds for it but she works out like a fiend because its what keeps her sane.
 
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infinitys_7th

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A couple of years ago I was in the best physical shape of my life, exercising regularly, eating right, and was at my worst depression wise.
Exercise is nearly always good for you, but it is also not some magic cure for mental health.

I seem to be resistant to having the mental benefits of exercise. I've never felt mentally "better" after exercise or working out, just tired. Before COVID, I used to go to the gym and work out right before bed because of it to help get me asleep at a reasonable hour. No buzz whatsoever.

I'm happy with long-term results, but exercise was and is just a time cost to maintain my body, not a motivation, and I always feel like it is a chore. It probably is a neurotransmitter issue.
 
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Raven117

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I seem to be resistant to having the mental benefits of exercise. I've never felt mentally "better" after exercise or working out, just tired. Before COVID, I used to go to the gym and work out right before bed because of it to help get me asleep at a reasonable hour. No buzz whatsoever.

I'm happy with long-term results, but exercise was and is just a time cost to maintain my body, not a motivation, and I always feel like it is a chore. It probably is a neurotransmitter issue.
Have you tried distance running? That's the easiest way to get the endorphin buzz. Lifting...to me...I feel satisfied that I worked out, but don't have the buzz a good run provides.
 
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infinitys_7th

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Have you tried distance running? That's the easiest way to get the endorphin buzz. Lifting...to me...I feel satisfied that I worked out, but don't have the buzz a good run provides.

Yeah, I never really felt satisfied after lifting either. It didn't help that I never really built muscle, which I wanted after losing weight to fill out sag. I did get noticeable strength, though, so that was nice. My usual routine was going to the gym about 4x-5x a week around 9-10 PM with about 30 min jogging/running on the treadmill following by upper or lower resistance machines. That was my schedule, more or less, since I lost weight, although I added on more time and intensity as I was able. I haven't been to the gym since COVID started, though. I've got dumbbells and do exercises at home (don't have room for a treadmill or other equipment, unfortunately), and go around a route near my condo, but it's not the same. My sleep schedule went back to not getting sleepy until 1-2 AM as well.

Never did distance running, but I kind of doubt I would go from being mildly annoyed and bored with it like I am on the treadmill at the gym. I like going on walks and used to go hiking about once a month, but I just like looking at nature. Same kind of thing where the exercise is just a means to what I enjoy. Losing weight and getting cardio benefits just meant I could go farther and be out longer without feeling like shit.
 
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Raven117

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Yeah, I never really felt satisfied after lifting either. It didn't help that I never really built muscle, which I wanted after losing weight to fill out sag. I did get noticeable strength, though, so that was nice. My usual routine was going to the gym about 4x-5x a week around 9-10 PM with about 30 min jogging/running on the treadmill following by upper or lower resistance machines. That was my schedule, more or less, since I lost weight, although I added on more time and intensity as I was able. I haven't been to the gym since COVID started, though. I've got dumbbells and do exercises at home (don't have room for a treadmill or other equipment, unfortunately), and go around a route near my condo, but it's not the same. My sleep schedule went back to not getting sleepy until 1-2 AM as well.

Never did distance running, but I kind of doubt I would go from being mildly annoyed and bored with it like I am on the treadmill at the gym. I like going on walks and used to go hiking about once a month, but I just like looking at nature. Same kind of thing where the exercise is just a means to what I enjoy. Losing weight and getting cardio benefits just meant I could go farther and be out longer without feeling like shit.
Interesting. You may need to take a look at nutrition and your sets scheme to see if you can get some size (ie, eating in surplus of calories plus high rep like 3x12)...Might help you there.

With respect to running, dude, I could not run on a treadmill...Its awful. I hate it. Outside, I freakin love it. Maybe give it a shot? Get up to about 3-5 miles. If you still aren't feeling it...then maybe it just wont work.
 

Maiden Voyage

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A couple of years ago I was in the best physical shape of my life, exercising regularly, eating right, and was at my worst depression wise.
Exercise is nearly always good for you, but it is also not some magic cure for mental health.


I think finding an activity that brings joy is the trick.

For me it was first skateboarding, then hiking, rock climbing, strength training, and now running. I hated running before this year.
I don’t think exercise alone is a panacea. It does help me quite a great deal.

Yeah, I never really felt satisfied after lifting either. It didn't help that I never really built muscle, which I wanted after losing weight to fill out sag. I did get noticeable strength, though, so that was nice. My usual routine was going to the gym about 4x-5x a week around 9-10 PM with about 30 min jogging/running on the treadmill following by upper or lower resistance machines. That was my schedule, more or less, since I lost weight, although I added on more time and intensity as I was able. I haven't been to the gym since COVID started, though. I've got dumbbells and do exercises at home (don't have room for a treadmill or other equipment, unfortunately), and go around a route near my condo, but it's not the same. My sleep schedule went back to not getting sleepy until 1-2 AM as well.

Never did distance running, but I kind of doubt I would go from being mildly annoyed and bored with it like I am on the treadmill at the gym. I like going on walks and used to go hiking about once a month, but I just like looking at nature. Same kind of thing where the exercise is just a means to what I enjoy. Losing weight and getting cardio benefits just meant I could go farther and be out longer without feeling like shit.

Anything outdoors makes me incredibly happy. I’ve just recently started outdoor runs. I’m a little sad that this doesn’t give me as much enjoyment as it does with others. I think if I get into trail running it will change that though.
 
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I think finding an activity that brings joy is the trick.

For me it was first skateboarding, then hiking, rock climbing, strength training, and now running. I hated running before this year.
I don’t think exercise alone is a panacea. It does help me quite a great deal.



Anything outdoors makes me incredibly happy. I’ve just recently started outdoor runs. I’m a little sad that this doesn’t give me as much enjoyment as it does with others. I think if I get into trail running it will change that though.

Running is so fucking toxic. Literally have never felt a "runners high" in my life except for the bowl of weed smoke after to take my mind off of how shitty the activity I just did was.

I still do it occasionally but bike WAY more. My knees are kinda fucked so it hurts so much less too.
 
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This is all true. I was miserable during the COVID lockdown, drinking every night and avoiding my workout routine. Now that I am back to my old habits I just feel so much more alive.

Drinking, getting high, or even playing video games isn't as fun when you aren't keeping your body healthy. My gaming time is much more productive and enjoyable if I have worked out earlier in the day, even just a walk around the block.
 
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Raven117

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I think finding an activity that brings joy is the trick.
Absolutely this. Especially in the beginning. I hate lifting weights, but I know its good for me. But running, biking, endurance stuff...that's my jam...
Running is so fucking toxic. Literally have never felt a "runners high" in my life except for the bowl of weed smoke after to take my mind off of how shitty the activity I just did was.

I still do it occasionally but bike WAY more. My knees are kinda fucked so it hurts so much less too.
Toxic? LOL. Is TOXIC the right word? Maybe, just not for you.
 

JimmyRustler

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As someone who has trouble keeping my motivation to do sports at bay it‘s a bit funny to read these tips on how to motivate oneself. I mean, I already did at 1-2 hours a day 6 times per week but just started to incorporate daily stretching into my regiment because it gives me something I can do on the day off. Though it does also make my training 30 minutes longer on the other 6 days….But, oh well…

Bottom line… This is me… not just at parties…

 
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Max_Po

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Quick someone give me the pill to looser 40 lbs ... Baby number 2 is on the way and I am still carrying weight from the first.....
 

SirKicksalot

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I'm doing the 8 minute routine for thighs, abs, legs and arms. Started 3 months ago and it's amazing. 40 minutes a day for your health is a small but rewarding investment.
Just pay attention to what the guy says.
 

Davey Cakes

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People know exercise is good for them, but they avoid it anyway.
Motivation is a huge factor. Just like with anything, it's easier to stay on board when you're in a groove.

Back when I had an office job there were some weeks where I went to the gym 5-6 days a week. It was part of the routine and became a natural part of my lifestyle. But, that was eight years ago.

These days I actually have a physical job. It's exhausting enough that I can't really fathom putting in that same hour-and-a-half at the gym almost every day that I used to. I do enough moving and lifting in the day that I'm satisfied, even though I'm not really building a ton of muscle or anything like that.

I still take walks when I find the time, and I get some exercise when I do the yardwork at home. It's true that any amount of activity feels better than just sitting around all day.
 
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Davey Cakes

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No, it doesn't.
As someone with chronic depression that's been going on for years, I get what you're saying. There's no cure-all.

A little bit of activity does help. It's even better if you pair it with something. I've discovered a lot of my favorite music by listening to albums on my walks over the years.
 
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p_xavier

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I do at least two hours of intense physical exercise and still have major anxiety. Actually physical extenuation can cause anxiety.
 

godhandiscen

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I am quitting weed as an addiction. I was high probably for all of 2020 and the couple years leading up to it, every day taking 3-8 hits. It is one of the worst addictions I ever had (the absolute worst one was overeating). I will probably make a post when I reach six months of being clean, but I am incredibly happy I quit weed.

I was on your side up until a few months ago, but ever since I quit weed it is as if I am a new person, and I love myself even more. Yeah, videogames and movies are even crappier now, but nobody is forcing me to do consume that shit; weed was always a cope.

I actually quit because it was fucking up with my ability to code. I am one of those software engineers who can solo multimillion dollar projects, and I would push myself to the limit while being high. Eventually, I started getting massive headaches which no amount of weed could help me with, so I started cutting out all of my bad habits, sleeping more, no weed, back in a regular workout routine, etc. Quitting weed wasn’t my issue, but turns out that I fucked up my vision and my brain was being over-excersise trying to make up for my lack of eyesight, while weed was hindering the problem. I wear glasses now when I code, and make sure to take breaks every 3 hours to go outside or work on the yard.
 
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Lanrutcon

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You know what really protects against depression and anxiety?

...money. The day you're financially secure and out of debt will do more for your mental health than any amount of pushups.
 
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Kenpachii

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This is what i noticed on how the brain and human body works.

Your brain is a muscle and needs to be trained/ or be busy the entire time of when its awake. U don't do that, u will get mental issue's. The same as your don't train or move and eat shit food, u will get unthealthy, have pains everywhere and die eventually.

Goals + keeping your day complex is what helps against depression and anxiety. exercise is just a tool to do this. What i found out is that u need to keep your brain active and accopied at all times, the moment u don't things that are small can blow up massively by being noticed by you to the point it can put you into depression. Your brain is just like your muscles something u need to keep saturated.


Here's a good example of not saturating your brain vs doing so. Which i found out.


When i didn't train and just worked, my entire day consisted out of work, my entire weekend consisted out of being not at work. Why because my brain and my body was only doing work as main activity.

When i started to move into training as i got super unhealthy at some point, i moved the bar up made friends and started to push myself forwards. I absolutely hated it, but kept going because i forced my body to do so with the ideology of if what my brain wants doesn't make me happy, then i need to dig into what my brain doesn't want, that probably will make me happy. Its reverse logic. I hated sport, i hated water, i hated eating healthy, guess what i started to do exactly that.

A normal week work first would look like this.

Monday-friday

Getting out of bed at 7:30 tired as fuck, dragging myself to work, counting the hours down, my brain would always be at work, got off from work and the time flew by to the point i just felt like work was the main thing my brain was pushing forwards. Weekend was me happy i wasn't at work, sunday, oh god 1 more day and its work time again for a week UFFFFFFF. TIIIRREED already.

After making changing for years as result:

Now in the current state: my day is far more planned out and work is just a part of it. It's not my main and only thing anymore. A day has so much things in it that work took a backseat and became nothing more then yet another thing i do on a day.

For example.

monday-friday:

wake up at 4:30, prepare for 30 minutes = 5 am
bike for a hour + prepare for 30 minutes = 6,30 am
swim for 40 minutes + move to work = 7:30 am
Work 8 > 5 pm
eat
6 pm to 7, muscle training / bike or swim depending what i mix, chill games + sleep to next day.

Wednesday, no training day = chill day.

Weekend arrives

At work preparing even for it.= big bike runs, trying to push limits, or big runs, meetups with other people to do stuff with like mudmasters "army trail runs" work my week towards it. bike over roads find other people do challenges with them on the road.

Sunday evening, fucking stoked that i made it, or i didn't made it which pisses me off to plan for the next one again next weekend and work my way towards it.

Brain = not in work at all.

When its monday, lets see how training goes in the morning hope i can get faster times, work = resting moment and reflecting on what i did or gained. Oh shit only have 2 weeks left for the big run )

What happened now is.

Your work became irrelevant or just a side thing instead of your brain being completely engulved by it. U do so much more. U have energy enough, days will fly by. etc etc etc.


What are the changes from back then vs now?

Massive
. U feel far better, u feel far more fulfilled u feel far more healthy, u feel like u are moving up in life even while your work is still the same place and not much meaningful. U meet tons of people, i will be at events just for fun sake, u have lots of things to talk about because shit happens in your life. Days can't be long enough.

Hey kenpachii did you do something in the weekend? yea i got electrocuted.

WUUUUUT?

Yea mudmasters they have like robes in water and send electricity through it, u gotta avoid it didn't know so yea i got some nasty hits there :D but i made it so fuck yea. Niceeee. Hey wanna join? u can train with me if you want. Uh uh not sure. Oh just come its fun, we do all kinds of shit. Sure why not.

U will get more social, u will get to know lots of people etc etc.
 
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godhandiscen

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Weed is trash and dumb to smoke 😤
It is a spiral into massive suffering. I picked up the habit from a girl I used to date in my early 20’s and since then everybody i dated was into it too. Eventually I made it to Silicon Valley in my mid 20’s and became friends with tech bros who made it to the office super stoned or coked up. They made my weed addiction seem silly in comparison. Anyway, it took me probably 10 years from the time I became an addict to the time I quit, and I am glad I quit.
Let’s hope I make it to six months clean, but it is looking good so far.


You know what really protects against depression and anxiety?

...money. The day you're financially secure and out of debt will do more for your mental health than any amount of pushups.

Not true at all. A lot of my friends who are are wealthy suffer massively from depression. I have a friend who lives in a hotel and the dude is always complaining about how miserable he is. I actually stopped hanging out with him, it is always sad tales of the dude wanting to off himself due to stress, but not doing it because he would let tons of people down.

I actually believe that people at the bottom of the pyramid at least have a goal to strive to, people at the top often have nowhere else to go. I have friends all along the pyramid.

 
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Lanrutcon

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Not true at all. A lot of my friends who are are wealthy suffer massively from depression.

I genuinely laughed at this.

This is the perfect example of first world nonsense.

"Oh noooo. I don't have crippling debts, can afford to follow my dreams and hobbies, care for my family and not have to work myself to death my entire life. Every day is a dark cloud of sorrow. Someone, please think of me."

Anyone who says money isn't at the absolute forefront of personal happiness has never had to live in poverty.
 
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godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
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I genuinely laughed at this.

This is the perfect example of first world nonsense.

"Oh noooo. I don't have crippling debts, can afford to follow my dreams and hobbies, care for my family and not have to work myself to death my entire life. Every day is a dark cloud of sorrow. Someone, please think of me."

Anyone who says money isn't at the absolute forefront of personal happiness has never had to live in poverty.
This dude is an Indian entrepreneur who grew up in a town without restrooms. I am confident he has seen true poverty. Some of his depression deals traumas of his past in fact and how money didn’t solve shit.
 

Lanrutcon

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This dude is an Indian entrepreneur who grew up in a town without restrooms. I am confident he has seen true poverty. Some of his depression deals traumas of his past in fact and how money didn’t solve shit.
Do me a favor, since he's Indian: slap him. Literally look him in the eyes and slap him like he just propositioned your wife. He's forgotten what it's like to not know where your next meal is coming from, or where you'll be sleeping in a week's time. It sounds like your friend's problem is perspective and not appreciating the things he's earned.

Christ man, just the knowledge that I can allow my loved ones to live the life I never had...just that would be enough to fucking let me smile through traumas that would overwise have beat me. Does he have kids?
 
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Raven117

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This is what i noticed on how the brain and human body works.

Your brain is a muscle and needs to be trained/ or be busy the entire time of when its awake. U don't do that, u will get mental issue's. The same as your don't train or move and eat shit food, u will get unthealthy, have pains everywhere and die eventually.

Goals + keeping your day complex is what helps against depression and anxiety. exercise is just a tool to do this. What i found out is that u need to keep your brain active and accopied at all times, the moment u don't things that are small can blow up massively by being noticed by you to the point it can put you into depression. Your brain is just like your muscles something u need to keep saturated.


Here's a good example of not saturating your brain vs doing so. Which i found out.


When i didn't train and just worked, my entire day consisted out of work, my entire weekend consisted out of being not at work. Why because my brain and my body was only doing work as main activity.

When i started to move into training as i got super unhealthy at some point, i moved the bar up made friends and started to push myself forwards. I absolutely hated it, but kept going because i forced my body to do so with the ideology of if what my brain wants doesn't make me happy, then i need to dig into what my brain doesn't want, that probably will make me happy. Its reverse logic. I hated sport, i hated water, i hated eating healthy, guess what i started to do exactly that.

A normal week work first would look like this.

Monday-friday

Getting out of bed at 7:30 tired as fuck, dragging myself to work, counting the hours down, my brain would always be at work, got off from work and the time flew by to the point i just felt like work was the main thing my brain was pushing forwards. Weekend was me happy i wasn't at work, sunday, oh god 1 more day and its work time again for a week UFFFFFFF. TIIIRREED already.

After making changing for years as result:

Now in the current state: my day is far more planned out and work is just a part of it. It's not my main and only thing anymore. A day has so much things in it that work took a backseat and became nothing more then yet another thing i do on a day.

For example.

monday-friday:

wake up at 4:30, prepare for 30 minutes = 5 am
bike for a hour + prepare for 30 minutes = 6,30 am
swim for 40 minutes + move to work = 7:30 am
Work 8 > 5 pm
eat
6 pm to 7, muscle training / bike or swim depending what i mix, chill games + sleep to next day.

Wednesday, no training day = chill day.

Weekend arrives

At work preparing even for it.= big bike runs, trying to push limits, or big runs, meetups with other people to do stuff with like mudmasters "army trail runs" work my week towards it. bike over roads find other people do challenges with them on the road.

Sunday evening, fucking stoked that i made it, or i didn't made it which pisses me off to plan for the next one again next weekend and work my way towards it.

Brain = not in work at all.

When its monday, lets see how training goes in the morning hope i can get faster times, work = resting moment and reflecting on what i did or gained. Oh shit only have 2 weeks left for the big run )

What happened now is.

Your work became irrelevant or just a side thing instead of your brain being completely engulved by it. U do so much more. U have energy enough, days will fly by. etc etc etc.


What are the changes from back then vs now?

Massive
. U feel far better, u feel far more fulfilled u feel far more healthy, u feel like u are moving up in life even while your work is still the same place and not much meaningful. U meet tons of people, i will be at events just for fun sake, u have lots of things to talk about because shit happens in your life. Days can't be long enough.

Hey kenpachii did you do something in the weekend? yea i got electrocuted.

WUUUUUT?

Yea mudmasters they have like robes in water and send electricity through it, u gotta avoid it didn't know so yea i got some nasty hits there :D but i made it so fuck yea. Niceeee. Hey wanna join? u can train with me if you want. Uh uh not sure. Oh just come its fun, we do all kinds of shit. Sure why not.

U will get more social, u will get to know lots of people etc etc.
This is pretty intense, but also totally right. I think folks can probably find a happy medium somewhere here. (Ie, don't make work your entire life....fill it with other things).
Do me a favor, since he's Indian: slap him. Literally look him in the eyes and slap him like he just propositioned your wife. He's forgotten what it's like to not know where your next meal is coming from, or where you'll be sleeping in a week's time. It sounds like your friend's problem is perspective and not appreciating the things he's earned.

Christ man, just the knowledge that I can allow my loved ones to live the life I never had...just that would be enough to fucking let me smile through traumas that would overwise have beat me. Does he have kids?
You aren't wrong, but the idea that money can buy happiness (and when it doesn't is depressing), is a thing. But don't confuse struggle with depression.
 
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nush

Gold Member
Oct 16, 2017
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A long haul flight from wherever you are.
This is what i noticed on how the brain and human body works.

Your brain is a muscle and needs to be trained/ or be busy the entire time of when its awake. U don't do that, u will get mental issue's. The same as your don't train or move and eat shit food, u will get unthealthy, have pains everywhere and die eventually.

Goals + keeping your day complex is what helps against depression and anxiety. exercise is just a tool to do this. What i found out is that u need to keep your brain active and accopied at all times, the moment u don't things that are small can blow up massively by being noticed by you to the point it can put you into depression. Your brain is just like your muscles something u need to keep saturated.


Here's a good example of not saturating your brain vs doing so. Which i found out.


When i didn't train and just worked, my entire day consisted out of work, my entire weekend consisted out of being not at work. Why because my brain and my body was only doing work as main activity.

When i started to move into training as i got super unhealthy at some point, i moved the bar up made friends and started to push myself forwards. I absolutely hated it, but kept going because i forced my body to do so with the ideology of if what my brain wants doesn't make me happy, then i need to dig into what my brain doesn't want, that probably will make me happy. Its reverse logic. I hated sport, i hated water, i hated eating healthy, guess what i started to do exactly that.

A normal week work first would look like this.

Monday-friday

Getting out of bed at 7:30 tired as fuck, dragging myself to work, counting the hours down, my brain would always be at work, got off from work and the time flew by to the point i just felt like work was the main thing my brain was pushing forwards. Weekend was me happy i wasn't at work, sunday, oh god 1 more day and its work time again for a week UFFFFFFF. TIIIRREED already.

After making changing for years as result:

Now in the current state: my day is far more planned out and work is just a part of it. It's not my main and only thing anymore. A day has so much things in it that work took a backseat and became nothing more then yet another thing i do on a day.

For example.

monday-friday:

wake up at 4:30, prepare for 30 minutes = 5 am
bike for a hour + prepare for 30 minutes = 6,30 am
swim for 40 minutes + move to work = 7:30 am
Work 8 > 5 pm
eat
6 pm to 7, muscle training / bike or swim depending what i mix, chill games + sleep to next day.

Wednesday, no training day = chill day.

Weekend arrives

At work preparing even for it.= big bike runs, trying to push limits, or big runs, meetups with other people to do stuff with like mudmasters "army trail runs" work my week towards it. bike over roads find other people do challenges with them on the road.

Sunday evening, fucking stoked that i made it, or i didn't made it which pisses me off to plan for the next one again next weekend and work my way towards it.

Brain = not in work at all.

When its monday, lets see how training goes in the morning hope i can get faster times, work = resting moment and reflecting on what i did or gained. Oh shit only have 2 weeks left for the big run )

What happened now is.

Your work became irrelevant or just a side thing instead of your brain being completely engulved by it. U do so much more. U have energy enough, days will fly by. etc etc etc.


What are the changes from back then vs now?

Massive
. U feel far better, u feel far more fulfilled u feel far more healthy, u feel like u are moving up in life even while your work is still the same place and not much meaningful. U meet tons of people, i will be at events just for fun sake, u have lots of things to talk about because shit happens in your life. Days can't be long enough.

Hey kenpachii did you do something in the weekend? yea i got electrocuted.

WUUUUUT?

Yea mudmasters they have like robes in water and send electricity through it, u gotta avoid it didn't know so yea i got some nasty hits there :D but i made it so fuck yea. Niceeee. Hey wanna join? u can train with me if you want. Uh uh not sure. Oh just come its fun, we do all kinds of shit. Sure why not.

U will get more social, u will get to know lots of people etc etc.

YOU.
 

Vicetrailia

Member
Jan 12, 2009
19,597
3,725
1,540
People, doing more than nothing, doing more than the same thing all of the time helps anxiety and depression. Working out is particularly good for anxiety.
 
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