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Outdoor Activities To Fight Depression

A woman engaging in outdoor activities to fight depression

Millions of Americans fight a daily battle with major depression, the country’s top mental health problem. Other depressive illnesses also exert their effects on significant numbers of people. Modern depression treatment is well-known for its effectiveness in supporting a return to wellness. But you can also promote mood improvement in other ways. One option available to most people is participation in some sort of outdoor activity. Research shows that outdoor activities to fight depression have notable benefits when it comes to improving your everyday mood.

The Connection Between Mood and Outdoor Activity

Over the years, researchers have extensively studied the ways that exposure to nature affects you. A review of this work supports the positive impact of participation in outdoor activities. Some of this impact is physical. However, by far, the most important consequences are for your mental well-being.

Whether or not you’re affected by depression, outdoor activities can help elevate your mood. They can also help you:

  • Feel less anxious in daily life
  • Become more mindful of your internal and external environment
  • Think more clearly
  • Break out of a pattern of repetitive, negative thinking

In addition, outdoor activity may help you sleep better. In turn, improved sleep also supports your mental welfare.

Outdoor Activities to Fight Depression – What Are Your Options?

What types of outdoor activities are best for easing depression and improving your mood? The answer to this question likely varies from person to person. Common activities that may work for you include:

  • Going for a hike
  • Running
  • Riding a bike
  • Gardening
  • Taking part in outdoor yoga
  • Meditating outdoors
  • Going camping
  • Fishing

Some of these options may be more readily available to you than others. In addition, some may sound more appealing and provide a better fit for your personal preferences. But chances are that you’ll find an activity on this list that meets your needs. Studies show that group activities may be especially beneficial for your mental health.

How Often Should You Take Part in Outdoor Activities for Depression?

Brief participation in an outdoor activity might not do much for your long-term mood. Instead, try to make a regular habit out of your chosen options. How often do you need to take part in outdoor activities for depression benefits to kick in? Studies show that effective activity sessions range in length from 20 minutes to an hour and a half. They also show that roughly two to three months of regular activity are needed to produce consistent benefits.

However, these are just estimates. You may start to feel better in a shorter or longer amount of time. The extent of any improvement you experience can also vary considerably.

Adding Activities to Depression Treatment

Outdoor activities to fight depression will not replace a formal depression treatment plan. Rather, these activities work along with the treatments you’re already receiving. This means that they play a secondary role, not a primary one. Primary choices for depression recovery include medication and psychotherapy. A range of options are included in each of these categories. Your treatment team will help you choose from among them.

Learn More About Outdoor Activities to Fight Depression at Northpoint Colorado

Have questions about using outdoor activities to ease the effects of depression? Talk to the specialists at Northpoint Colorado. We’ll help you identify activities that might be the best fit for your situation. We’ll also explain how these activities can be combined with primary depression treatments.

Northpoint takes a fully customized approach to modern depression treatment. With our support, you can follow a recovery plan that optimizes your chances for positive outcomes. Get started by calling us today at 888.231.1281 or completing our convenient online form.