When we talk about health, most of the time we think of physical health. But our mental health is also really an important piece of being healthy as a whole. Actually, I personally think that mental health is much more important than being physically healthy, because when we are in a healthy and perfect state of mind we can actually help our body’s healing process too. Especially after the pandemic in the last year, with so many people losing their job and living in a very restricted way, life has been challenging for so many people’s mental health.
Sometimes it is easy to just say “don’t worry, it will pass, maybe do some meditation and live mindfully”. This is all good advice, however if the person already has difficulties then it can be very hard to relate to this and to try and make a change. You might say ok, but what can I do to improve and start making changes? The most important thing first is that we need to identify the thought process that is making us sick, and unfortunately there is only person who is able to figure that out — and of course that’s you. Yes, you might choose to get help from a professional, but not all of us have that option or can afford the cost.
So what is the solution? Here are a few tips that you may like to try:
• Start to get outside, even just a 10 minute walk will help you change your mood. Even if you don’t feel like going out, you will feel much better after you do.
• Listen to audiobooks, whichever subject interests you. I found that, instead of reading, when listening to a book I feel myself more focused.
• Start to write down everything that’s on your mind. You don’t need to read it again or show it to anyone. Feel free to destroy it after you write it. But when you write it feels like a you had a great talk with your best friend.
• If you can practice fasting, maybe for 14 hours or even up to 24 hours, and not consume any food then your blood sugar will drop which can lower your levels of the hormone insulin too. It helps calm you down and clear your thinking process. If you want to try a prolonged fast then you may want to talk to your physician first.
• Try a lower carbohydrate diet, which focuses more on whole food meals with protein, non-starchy veggies and healthy fats. Especially coconut oil, avocados, olives and macadamia nuts are great sources of fat and can help improve your brain function, and you may start seeing things very differently. Our brain has almost 60% fat and 25% cholesterol, and a lower carbohydrate and high fat diet can force the body to produce ketones which are the energy substates for the brain. Cholesterol also plays an important role for the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin is known as the happiness hormone, it’s a key to stabilizing our mood and giving us feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Dopamine is known as the pleasure hormone. A low carb diet also means that you are not consuming sugar, which can negatively affect our mental health.
There are many reasons to worry or to be depressed or angry. However, we all know that the only person that we need to change is ourselves. What is the alternative? Sometimes even just watching a funny movie or listening to our favorite music will improve our mood. If you like you can try some of these ideas to change how you look at things, without judging or overthinking.
Ayda Ersoy is a nutritionist (Dip.C.N., Dip.S.N.); master trainer (CPT ACE, NCSF, CanfitPro); registered yoga teacher; founder, Health Angel Nutrition, Fitness and Wellness; and founder, SMS (Stability, Mobility Strength) Intuitive Training System.
Source: The Garden Island