Shreveport Psychologist weighs in on how exercise helps mental health

Updated: Jun. 27, 2018 at 5:40 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - While exercising and eating right can do wonders for your body, a Shreveport psychologist says that's nothing compared to what it can do for your brain.

"When you exercise, you're going to build the neurotransmitters in your brain that help you to be happy. It's your own anti-depressant from within. You go for a run and your creating these endorphins that help the happy thoughts to come back," said Dr. Arien Ward.

Ward is a clinical psychologist at The Willis Knighton Rehabilitation Center in Shreveport.

She says while medication may be necessary to fight depression for some people, being active can get the ball rolling in the right direction.

"You're also exercising which is good for your body in general and your self-esteem comes up when you exercise, and that's the same with eating healthier, drinking enough water and exercising. If you do those three things, depression is going to come down just naturally."

After two high profile celebrities took their own life weeks ago, it's now bringing to light the need to see the signs in your loved ones if they are depressed or suicidal.

"Make sure that they're open about what's really going on, and awareness. Are they isolating to their room? Is there a change in their behavior?" said Ward.

For more tips on recognizing suicidal thoughts or depression, click here.

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