Using Physical Activity to Tackle Depression: The Neglected Positive Psychology Intervention

Louise Lambert, Anisha D'Cruz, Melanie Schlatter, Fiona Barron

Abstract


The treatment of depression has primarily been tackled through pharmaceuticals and cognitive interventions designed to reduce negative emotional states.  This traditional psychology approach has had some success in reducing depressive symptoms but does not offer clients any understanding of how to explicitly achieve a state of wellbeing.  In contrast, positive psychology promotes interventions that teach people how to build positive emotional states, as well as decrease negative ones.  In this paper, we advocate for physical activity to be included as a positive psychology intervention both to treat and prevent depression as its effectiveness has been documented.  We further encourage practitioners to include physical activity in their treatment plan recommendations as it targets many aspects of mental and physical wellbeing and conclude with recommendations for practitioners and policy makers in the United Arab Emirates.

Keywords


positive psychology; positive psychology intervention; physical activity; depression; wellbeing; antidepressants; cognitive-behavioral therapy

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References


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