Behavioural activation (BA) is a therapeutic intervention that involves engaging in pleasurable activities to improve your mood. BA was initially studied as a treatment for depression, and it has been helpful in improving the moods of people who struggle with this condition (see Behavioral activation interventions for well-being: A meta-analysis; Mazzucchelli, Kane, & Rees, 2010).
BA makes sense because many people who feel depressed stop doing enjoyable activities that once made them happy. As a result, they do not experience anything rewarding or fun that makes their lives worthwhile. So, if you are feeling down, you can try doing some of your favorite hobbies or activities or start doing new fun or relaxing things. Try to schedule these activities into your life! These BA can be done at home, in your community, alone, or as a social activity. Even if you don't enjoy the activity as much as you used to, just starting to do it can jump start your momentum! The next thing you know, every day you are having more fun, and your mood improves!
Sometimes people don't have any hobbies or activities and that is the reason they aren't enjoying their lives. Here are some links to suggestions for activities that you may enjoy and start your own BA routine:
50 low cost hobbies will excite you
47 cheap fun hobbies
45 inexpensive hobbies
Society of Clinical Psychology summary of behavioural activation treatment and research
Dr. Candice Bovell, Ph.D., C.Psych. is a Clinical Psychologist who treats adults with depression, anxiety, and stress online in Ontario, Canada.
Candice Bovell, Ph.D., C.Psych.
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