Exercise and Depression | Martial Arts And Fitness Training
How Martial Arts and Fitness Training helped my depression
If you have been following me for a while you would have likely read about my state of depression, how I attempted suicide and what triggered it. What I have not told you is one of the things that help brought me out of that state of mind and into the confident, self assured woman I am today.
Many people have no idea that a person like me could possible have been depressed to the point of trying to take my own life. Many people ask "What could possibly make you depressed, you are beautiful!", and I have actually have people ask me that. In answer to that, I have to say that outward beauty has nothing to do with being depressed, but how you feel about your self inwardly has much to do with it.
Keep reading to better understand what depression does to you no matter how physically beautiful you are.
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Here is a list of things that depression does to someone
- Gradually break down ego. Overtime that pride you have in yourself will gradually start to chip away. You will start to feel like you have failed. You can't see your own accomplishments and you become so nervous completing a task that you end up doing all badly, and so you end up feeling worse.
- A dip in the old self esteem. Imagine self esteem on a scale of 100 - 1. You are quite healthy at 100 and depression starts to set in and it starts dropping. First it's 99, than 95. It might shoot back up to 98, then take another dive to 90, very much like your hubscores. Now imagine your self esteem at 100 then imagine what would happen when it plunges to 1. Self esteem that low needs major work and usually when it nears or reaches that point the person will contemplate suicide.
- Your sense of self love. How you feel about yourself is very important in your survival in life. People sense things and hating yourself can lead to depression and depression can lead to hating yourself. When you are depressed and the self hate or self loathing starts, most cases it is triggered by an event like rape, abuse, incest, financial collapse, business failure, academic failure. Being obese is never the reason, there is always a deeper issue there, but after gaining the weight, the person will feel ugly and try to starve themselves or eat themselves to death.
- Your confidence also take that dive. Much like the self esteem (how you see yourself), self confidence (how you portray yourself to others) is rated on a similar scale because they usually walk hand in hand.
- Ten Signs or Symptoms You Are Suffering From Depress...
Depression is a mental condition and treatable, even preventable. Know the signs so that you can help yourself or loved ones when they need it.
My Martial arts And Fitness Training
I have always been an athlete and a dancer and in 2000 I began doing self defense which I loved very much. I left my job to pursue another career in the hospitality industry but found it very hard to continue training. When I became self employed in 2004 I started attending the gym again. I went back to working in the fitness industry January 2006.
I renewed my Self Defense Instructor/Personal Trainer Certification and started both training and teaching again. The upside to any kind of physical fitness is that exercise releases endorphins and other crucial hormones that puts you on a high. So teaching any kind of fitness was boosting my esteem because I would exercise with my client or my class.
My least favorite type of exercise but in most cases I get to show off because most of my clients were unfit and I was a sucker for punishment. Some of the "mental health" benefits of weights training are:
- determination, especially good for depressed people who like to give up
- discipline to keep getting fit because it makes you look and feel good about yourself
- compliments from others, especially those less fit. Will boost your ego.
- knowing your are fitter and getting healthier will definitely boost your confidence and self worth
- your self worth is also increased when a client you have trained tell you how good they feel or when they lose weight. You are the one that feels accomplished.
My second favorite type of exercise. I get to do dance-like moves and I definitely feel in control especially when I am the last one left standing. The mental health benefits of aerobics are:
- Similar to weights with the added physical endurance which automatically stimulates mental endurance
- A dose of self confidence doesn't hurt
- A definite change in your social interactions. Now you want to be around people because they make you feel special for helping them lose weight or increase their cardiovascular health
- the people you train makes you feel invincible when you outlast them in an aerobics class and they tell you how they like your class afterward.
People are always in awe of other people who are good at martial arts so when a new student watches you train, standing at the door of a class, you push yourself harder to make a good impression. I don't know anyone in martial arts who doesn't do that. Another reason is the honor of your school. A martial art student honors their instructor and their school so people watching a class will generate a tougher looking class because you don't want people leaving with the wrong impression. Every true martial art student will "sell" their school and the philosophy of martial arts and self defense because that's what drives their honor and beliefs.
Martial arts is not a high paying position but most people who learn it want to teach it especially the art of self defense. I will be doing another hub on self defense since I'm on a roll here. The mental health benefits of martial art training are:
- knowing you are equipped to defense yourself in any situation and that in itself is confidence.
- definite self discipline
- mental balance and stimulation
- increases focus - a part of training is learning to focus
- improves stature which improves your confidence
- mental calmness and clarity
Exercise does improve brain power and eventually my cognitive skills returned. I began doing my job exceptionally well and went on to producing more coursework and teaching. Gradually I felt better about life and myself. My self worth greatly improved and people could sense my confidence again.
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