Whether you’re going through a valley or just need a mental boost against the everyday stressors, researchers have figured out a way to boost your mood that may be even better (and certainly easier!) than moderate exercise: taking a bath.
Relaxing in a bath twice a week, according to new research, was faster, better, and easier at treating severe depressive symptoms than exercise. Participants were asked to take a 30 minute bath followed by 20 or so minutes of warm blankets and hot water pads, and after two weeks researchers found their depression was measurably less. Meanwhile, the participants asked to exercise did not have the same success, and more than half the participants gave up on exercising.
Why are baths so special? Three reasons. The first is it’s easier to keep up with than exercising, especially if you have physical limitations (which are often a source of depression!). The second is that baths can be inherently relaxing, releasing feel good hormones like serotonin. Finally, and perhaps most of all, baths are thought to help balance our circadian rhythms. By bathing before bed, you help expand blood vessels and let off excess heat, preparing the body for sleep. That same effect is also helpful at anytime of day for the depressed, as one of the physical effects of depression is poor heat regulation.
Bathtime by itself probably won’t cure depression (although it might get you through mild symptoms) so be sure to pair it with other strategies like exercise, nutrition, talk therapy, or mood supporting herbal supplements like D.S.A. MGRx.
D.S.A. MGRx is non-addictive, and doesn’t have withdrawal symptoms. Take what you need, when you need it for mood support.
Do you get a pick-me-up from bathtime? Share in the comments: