OK - as my friends or anyone who has my journal much know, I suffer from depression. At the moment, I'm doing ok thank you. However, doing ok has given me reason to do some thinking.
I *really* want a hot tub. I've always gone out of my way to find hotels (when I had to stay in one) that had hot tubs, and I've always made sure I got as much time in them as possible. Why? Well - I enjoy it! But I've started thinking about why I like it.
A little pretext - Not having a hot tub to get in, I often do the next best thing - I take a really long hot shower. As hot as I can stand, and sometimes with the shower head on that pulsating/biting/massage setting. It occurred to me today that I'm always in a better mood afterwards. I've not had opportunity to get many full-fledged massages, but they put me in a better mood too. I've always assumed it's because of the relaxation and stress-relief they provide. I'm sure that's part of it, still. But there are other things I do that relieve stress that *don't* necessarily put me in a better mood. A mixed drink, an orgasm, a good night's sleep - all of these things bring relaxation and stress relief, but the mood change they offer is much shorter lived than the hot tub/shower/massage.
OK - then I realized there's one other thing that generally brings about a longer mood lift: Exercise. It messes with my joints, but it sure puts me in a better frame of mind.
So here's the hypothesis: Is depression more of a PHYSICAL condition than I've previously realized? Now I know that there are physical factors in depression, specifically hormones and body chemicals such as endorphins and seratonin. However - I'm considering a more simple and to the point factor: Circulation. Anything I can think of that gets the blood circulating seems to improve mood for me, and depression is always at it's highest when circulation is at it's lowest. Blood circulation brings oxygen to the brain - is depression symptomatic of oxygen deprivation?
The question for everyone is "Do activities which enhance blood circulation affect your mood?" and "why do you think it does or doesn't?"