Can Diet, Exercise and Yoga Help with Depression?

Can diet, exercise and yoga really help with depression?

Elizabeth Ricanati, M.D.

Elizabeth Ricanati, M.D.

Elizabeth Ricanati, M.D., is the founding medical director of Lifestyle 180, an innovative Cleveland Clinic program aimed at treating and... Read more

Believe it or not, our bodies and brains actually communicate with each other. So what you do for one affects the other. This is good news! Mood symptoms — feeling sad, down or anxious — are very responsive to lifestyle changes. Symptoms of depression or anxiety, for example, can positively improve with modifications to your diet, an increase in physical activity, and practicing stress management techniques such as yoga.

It’s remarkable how much better you can feel just by doing simple stretches! In addition, something as simple as eating breakfast every day will help restart your body’s daily metabolism and even out your blood sugar levels. Of course, this means choosing the right breakfast foods, such as whole-grain cereal and not the sugar-coated stuff. And make physical activity a priority: 30 minutes of walking can boost your mood throughout the rest of the day.