How Exercise helps my depression - warning really bad language
Posted by rob.cornelius
26th Apr 2015

I originally posted this on a subreddit I help moderate. EOOD stands for Exercise out of depression

For me now there are two sides to EOOD. Both intertwined like ying and yang.

First of all there is summoning up the mental fortitude and resolve to work out. To push yourself to the limit. For me this is always summed up by power lifting champion CT Fletcher's famous quote "ITS STILL YOUR MOTHERFUCKING SET" [] I use that motivation and determination to get me out of bed and into the cold and dark at 6am in the winter to workout outdoors. I then say to myself "If you can get up at 6am and work out you can make yourself debug this code, stand up to your boss as you know he is wrong, DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO."

Until recently I focused on this side of things entirely. Then I saw this post [] This video gave me the other half of the equation. The ying to the yang. Its not just about forcing yourself to do something and fighting the pain. Its about accepting that pain because you know it will pass when you get to the end of what ever exercise you are doing. I can use this to help overcome anxiety. I can do things that I normally wouldn't as I know that they are only short term. The anxiety they generate will go away eventually. I have to accept it while its here.

Now I have two methods to deal with my depression and anxiety. I can fight some things and accept others. Or both at once. I can motivate myself to do things that would normally make me anxious and at the same time accept that anxiety and know that it will get better one day. Both of those methods come from exercise. I can take what I learn every time I work out and apply it to the rest of my life.
Its ALWAYS going to be my motherfucking set. Depression and anxiety will always be there. I accept that. I use that acceptance to help me fight against it. Accepting that the fight will cause pain makes it easier to fight. Ying and yang.

I exercise to strengthen my mind not my body.

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