ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Coping Skills for the Depressed and Anxious, Part Two

Updated on December 11, 2014

Swimming With the Dolphins

A few weeks ago, I went out with a group and played a few hours of volleyball. My left knee was swollen for a week. I whiffed on several spike attempts. My mind and body were not in the same book, much less on the same page. I just can't do what I used to do. I switched to kickball.

Other than appropriate medication, probably the most common advice given to emotionally challenged people is exercise. Exercise! Exercise! Exercise! As much as I hate to admit it, the advisors are right. The more we exercise the better we cope with our anxiety and depression.

My therapist says I should break a sweat every day. My psychiatrist tells me to give myself 30 minutes of elevated heart rate per 24 hours. This is tough for me. I have never been one to exercise for exercise's sake. I don't like to walk or run. I hate going to the gym. What is a man like me supposed to do?

Brain Chemicals

According to webMD, exercising our body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins interact with receptors in our brain, that trigger a positive feeling similar to morphine. I call this "Swimming With the Dolphins." the more endorphins (dolphins) released the better we feel.

I have a friend (I know, surprising I have friends) who referred to getting the "runner's high" for the first time. It is a common experience among runners that can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.

I don't like to run. I can't see myself as one of those people who lap the mall each morning. So what?

I do like to play softball and basketball. I would often play catch with my kids or run around the yard with my dog Lucky. Now that my kids are older, though, I don't have the experience and excuse of coaching and practicing with them. I have to make more of an effort.

Using the Web

In Indianapolis there is a web site called I have found people with whom I can play play wiffle ball, frisbee, tennis and kick the can. There are people who meet to walk park trails and go canoeing. There are even those who meet to play cards and quilt or meditate.

I remember someone telling me that if I left a person by saying that we would have to get together sometime, we probably wouldn't. But if we set a time and date, I would likely keep it. We need to make appointments to exercise, especially when we are anxious and depressed and our motivation level is low. Knowing that someone is waiting for us makes it more likely that we will appear.

With the internet it is so easy to find those who share an interest that is similar to ours. I know that first time is a bit difficult, but if we can make it, those dolphins are waiting for you. We all can use a good swim in the positive energy that those endorphins produce.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)