Why It Matters To Look After Your Mental Health

All aspects that make up your entire well-being are equally important, yet there is one thing that people often take for granted: mental health. For instance, you notice that you feel so down these days, and then your body aches. Together, they may be symptoms of depression. However, since you refuse to believe that you can acquire this disorder, you choose to take a pain reliever instead of considering that perhaps it is time to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

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Why that is a wrong move is that a disease that should have been remedied on its early stages got left undiagnosed. You focused on one of its indications alone, which drugs may not even be able to cure because the root of the problem still exists. You will likely spend so much on pain-relieving medication, and your body parts will remain aching.

Now, in case that is too little of a reason for you to prioritize your mental health, here are a few more things that you may achieve once you do it.

  1. Enhanced Work Performance

When your psychological stability is in jeopardy, it can reflect in an instant on how you perform your tasks in the office. Nothing seems to work out well for you. Your attention span gets narrower; your comprehension skills drop to the ground. Worse, it might reach a point when your bosses start thinking of finding a replacement.

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If you are not dealing with a mental disorder, though, you will be able to pick up instructions even when your superior only mentioned it while passing your desk. You can also complete tasks faster than everyone too as if the job is extremely easy for you.

  1. Calmer Environment

With problems reining over your system more and more every day, your usual cool demeanor and ability to look at a situation without judgment can turn upside down. The people around you cannot speak freely or make jokes in your presence. You pick fights with anyone who tries to reason out with you. It seems challenging for you to talk as well without sounding annoyed.

Once you take care of your mental well-being, your world may become more peaceful than ever. There won’t be individuals wishing for you to be gone. There may also not be nasty arguments occurring because no one will ignite them.

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  1. Better Relationships

Folks with mental disorder have a knack for pushing their loved ones away either intentionally or unintentionally. If their sour attitude does not do the trick, they opt to isolate themselves from everyone.

You can merely move past this issue when you make mental health your priority. After all, that is the time when you need your friends and family the most. If you stop distancing yourself from them, you might find a solution to your problems with their help. Not to mention, your relationship with everyone strengthens.

Final Thoughts

As you might know by now, many people invest more attention – and money – to annual physical examinations and tend to ignore their sense of hopelessness, stress, anger issues, et cetera. The religious folks prefer to go to church and leave everything to God than to get psychologically assessed. This lack of importance that you show towards mental health is typically one of the reasons why some individuals end up worsening a psychological disorder, which may or may not be incurable. Thus, if you want to dodge that probability, you should look after your mental health now.

 

 

Reduce Your Stress Instantly Before It Even Gets Worse

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Reduce Your Stress Instantly Before It Even Gets Worse

Stress is one of the primary reasons why we get to have mental illnesses. In fact, it creates a lot of complications in our physical and emotional state too. Though it’s okay to feel the pressure sometimes, the overwhelming effect may lead to weakness and vulnerability. As a result, it leaves us with disorders and unwanted health conditions. 

tress is unavoidable, but do you know there are ways you can reduce it instantly? Yes, in fact, it may seem simple, but it creates a lot of difference once you get to try them. Continue reading so you can get the tips that BetterHelp prepared for you.

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Stress Reducing Tips

 1. Watch your favorite show or maybe go see a movie. It is something that you might think doesn’t create a significant effect, but it does. The more that you over think about something, the intense pressure it gives. However, when you try to distract your thoughts by engaging with visual stuff, it skips your mind off your problems. It will allow you to have a beneficial gap with your negative thoughts between the distractions, so you can quickly tackle your issue of whatever it is that stresses you over. 

 

2. Move your body and exercise. Exercising is beneficial to your body because of tons of reasons. But there will always be a time that you’ll probably get tired of going to the gym. However, you can still do small chores in the house to keep you physically active. It will not only help in keeping yourself fit, but it will also reduce your stress. By the time you finish your household task, you’ll feel satisfied with your accomplishments on that particular day.

 

 3. Do something nice to your body. You may not see its connection to your mental state, but doing satisfying things to your body helps in making you feel stress-free. You can get a body massage, get your nails done, go to a salon, and so on. It is not about doing fancy things, but the simplicity of keeping you away from something that stresses you out. Sometimes, pampering yourself is therapeutic because you learn to eliminate the thoughts that don’t benefit your health in the first place.

 4. Use your family, friends, neighbors, and pets, as a support system. Let them know that you’re experiencing an emotional and mental problem. It will be nice to know that the people who care for you are there to support you at all cost. It reduces the stress when you communicate with them. They may not be helpful at some point; at least they are there to encourage you through your emotional and psychological crisis. You may not even need to hear some of their solutions to your problem, but sometimes, you only need someone to listen to you.

Source: wikimedia.org

These are simple habits that are good for the time being. They give you a chance to come back to your issues and deal with them after clearing your thoughts. Stress can linger longer than you can measure, so you need to try these tips to get the stress out of your system. Eliminate bad thoughts and start working on getting better.

How Aromatherapy Can Soothe You And Your Partner’s Fatigue After Work

Home is the ultimate relaxation place for couples after a long and exhausting day at work. However, most homeowners have long since discovered a whole new level to up a house’s relaxing comfort. This technique is through aromatherapy, a natural kind of healing for fatigue and stress.

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What Exactly Is Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a type of healing that uses the beneficial extracts and oils from plants and flowers either through skin application (massage) or by inhalation. It has proven positive effects most popularly for anxiety, nausea, fatigue, body aches, and headaches, among others. It is considered as complementary medicine and not to be used as the primary therapy for sickness, however. 

 

Range Of Benefits Of This Kind Of Natural Healing For The Couples

Many couples add aromatherapy in their home not just to become an accessory but also to make use of the following benefits of different essential oils: 

 

 

 1. The Aromatic Properties Of These Essential Oils Stimulate Energy 

 

Essential oils, especially from pine and eucalyptus, are known to lift up one’s mood after a tiring and stressful day from work. Spicy aromas (from the favorite oils cinnamon and clove, among others) have been shown to calm people, reducing headaches and irritable tendencies. These benefits are mostly extracted through inhalation or the use of diffuser at home. 

 

 

2. The Romantic Scent Of Certain Oils Can Put Couples In Mood For An Exciting Night 

 

Yes, there are essential oils that are more popular for their ‘romantic scents’ to spice up a couple’s night. Aroma oils like rose and sandalwood are mainly used as fragrances for women and men, respectively. These scents can stimulate each other’s sex drive and libido for a great night. Ladies mostly recommend the use of oil diffuser. Other than calming their husband’s office fatigue, these erotic aromas can put both of them in the mood for lovemaking. 

 

 

3. Essential Oils Aid In Easier Breathing And Relaxation 

 

The aromatic properties of essential oils can help home dwellers sleep better at night. Most will keep a diffuser on their bedside tables. Most will have one in their bathrooms. The most popular oils that can aid in better relaxation are chamomile and lavender.

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 4. Aromatherapy Is Effective In Reducing Muscular Pains 

 

Remember this always: Essential oils are not to be applied directly to the skin unless diluted with a carrier oil or just water. 

 

Adding drops of essential oils like that from birch, cypress, and rosemary to bath soak are effective in reducing body pain and muscular spasms after a long day. Relieve tension and body stress while enjoying a soak or massage for a well-deserved rest for both you and your partner. 

 

 5. It Can Aid In Correcting Lots Of Health Problems 

 

Essential oils are also believed to aid in re-balancing the body and re-aligning the body with the state of mind. As such, a combination of oils from ylang-ylang, geranium, rosemary, and jasmine is said to ‘correct emotional issues.’ These psychological issues are also reported to be related to infertility, hormonal imbalance, and the overall imbalance in the feminine energy. 

Source: flickr.com

Diffusing essential oils at home is more than just a ‘scent’ for the house. Aromatherapy can perk up you and your partner’s mood with the added benefits of your overall health. Stock up essential oils in your bathroom, bedside tables, living room and even in your closets, and you will feel more relaxed each day as you unwind in the comforts of your home.

5 Ways You Can Let Nature Heal Your Heart (Literally)

From the moment you saw your childhood sweetheart hold the hands of someone else up to that second your partner for seven years finally realizes that you both just can’t make things work out, you’re sure that you’re hurt. And while the degree of pain may not be at all times the same, you know you’ve gone through just the same thing over and over again – your heart has been broken.

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We struggle to move on from breakups. The entire process is exhausting physically, emotionally, and mentally. But while you can just let nature take its normal course and let time pass as it heals all wounds, did you know that nature can literally help you in getting over a breakup?

 

Here are only 5 of the many gifts that nature has to your broken heart:

 

For A Stronger Heart, Here’s Hawthorn

After a breakup, your brain thinks that the body is physically hurt. It makes the pain feel real, despite not getting wounded physically. Besides, hours of sobbing makes the chest tight, causing you to feel that your heart is in pain.

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Hawthorn is your heart’s new best friend. It is a type of small tree that produces tasty red berries. Hawthorn restores the damaged tissues of the heart and regulates your blood flow so that your heart rate normalizes. It helps in your blood circulation and stabilizes blood pressure.

 

For A Better Sleep, Here’s Lemon

A few days fresh from the breakup, you will find yourself awake even at wee hours when you usually would have been snoring. You feel intoxicated, filled with all the negativities, and you’re just too disturbed to get enough rest.

 

Lemon is your sleep saver. Combining it with water makes it your ultimate detox solution. It boosts the function of your liver, cleanses your body from toxins, purifies your bloodstreams, and raises your white blood cells. The cleaning effect of lemon puts your body in a perfect state for a good night sleep.

 

For A Happier You, Here’s Motherwort

Depression is the most visible and undeniable result of a breakup. Studies say that the level of pain you experience after breakup is the level you get hurt by social rejection. Your self-esteem radically drops, and you would wish to withdraw from everything.

 

Motherwort knows best. It is a plant from the mint family which is known for its calming effects. It is said to make the heart feel happier because it relaxes the nervous system and lifts your mood. It relieves you from your chronic anxiety and raises levels of your happy hormones.

 

For A Relaxed Mind And Soul, Here’s Skullcap

Breakups stress you out. You are in a constant state of panic and agitation because the body raises levels of cortisol, your stress hormones. These bad hormones cause the pumping of too much blood in your muscles, making them stiff and tense.

 

Skullcap is your relaxation buddy. These are hood-shaped flowers found in wetlands. It acts as a sedative that relieves panic attacks and hysteria. It even reduces the risk of heart attack and other heart diseases. It had always been used in therapies to ease tensions.

 

For An Energetic Body, Here’s Ginseng

Prolonged stress levels caused by breakups make you feel downcast. You just don’t seem to have the motivation to do your day to day routine. Activities that once seemed physically enjoyable become all too plain and uninteresting.

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Ginseng is your excellent energy boost. For many years, this plant tuber has been known to increase physical strength and endurance. Not only do you become stress-free, but you now also have the energy to start things again. The old and lazy feeling fades away, and you begin to feel young, fresh, and alive once more.

 

Together with enough time to recuperate from the effects of a breakup, as well as the help of people who make you feel loved and accepted, nature’s wonders can do you great help on your way back to love. What a way to move forward when you know nature’s got your back – literally!

5 Essential Oils And Their Healing Effects According To A Psychiatrist

A study conducted across 155 general population surveys in 59 countries all over the world suggests that 1 in 5 people or 20% of the population has experienced a mental disorder. Of all these illnesses, the leading cause of disability in the US is still depression, which hits people at the median age of 32. To make things worse, only 36.9% of people diagnosed with mental disorders actually receive treatments.

Among the many compelling treatments for psychiatric disorders is Aromatherapy. It uses aromatic oils and essences naturally extracted from flowers, stems, barks, leaves, or roots to harmonize the mind, body, and spirit. It aims to rejuvenate a person from the inside out. It also stimulates brain function and regulates the entire rhythmic processes of the body.

Source: pixabay.com

By nourishing the soul, the therapy brought about by essential oils enhances the body’s innate healing process, making recuperation a lot more natural. It allows the person to do away with the side effects of artificially produced prescription drugs.

Here are the 5 most common essential oils and how they help in overcoming psychiatric disorders: 

  • Lavender: The Calmer After The Storm

 More than just a familiar scent of a lot of perfumes,Lavender has its healing effects too. It is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant via steam distillation. It has been proven to have calming effects on the body. Its refreshing aroma has a significant impact on the nervous system thereby managing heartrate variability and lowering blood pressure. In fact, it can remove nervous exhaustion and restlessness while easing tension and emotional stress.

Source: pixabay.com

 

  • Bergamot: The Happy Pill

More than just the typical orange fruit, Bergamot has a lot to contribute to mental wellness. It comes from the cells in the rind of the Bergamot orange fruit. It naturally lifts a bad mood, relieves emotional pain, and drowns out feelings of loneliness. 

Actually, bergamot is widely used during the winter season in many countries because it provides a way to overcome the heaviness of the quiet, cold, and lonely feelings brought about by the weather. Because of its freshly sweet aroma, it makes a person feel happier, excited, and motivated. 

  • Frankincense: The Balancing Wheel

More than being one of the wise maggi’s gifts to Jesus on his birthday, Frankincense is one of the most brain-healing oils. It is an aromatic resin made from the sap of Boswellia trees. It acts as a balancer when it comes to intense feelings and restlessness because it contains sesquiterpenes, which stabilizes hormonal imbalances. Because of this, frankincense can capture symptoms of depression. Also, it increases oxygen levels in the pineal and pituitary glands of the brain, thereby activating emotion-regulating hormones.

Source: publicdomainpictures.net

 

  • Roman Chamomile: The Sleep Buddy

 More than just the cute pieces that add beauty to floral arrangements, Roman Chamomile is the essential oil that could give you the perfect rest. It is known to have relaxing effects which help people fight insomnia – a common symptom of anxiety and depression. Inhaling chamomile reduces plasma adrenocorticotropic hormones, which are stress-induced. It has a hypnotic kind of effect which makes a person feel soothing drowsiness, facilitating good sleep.

  • Sandalwood: The Concentration Expert

More than simple wood pieces, Sandalwood can actually do wonders. In times when a person becomes too distracted and stress ensues, smelling this essential oil might be just what is needed.

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Sandalwood has been proven to improve mental clarity and to stimulate focus and concentration. The beautiful thing about it is that despite keeping the mind focused clearly on the matter at hand, it still maintains a calm disposition. It also sharpens memory and helps lengthen a person’s attention span.

This list is only 5 of the many essential oils that nature has provided. What’s more interesting is that the benefits of each essential oil are not exclusive but rather overlapping. The common characteristic among all these oils, however, is their useful contribution to a person’s mental well-being. It’s never too late to try one of these. It might just be the exact thing you need to ease your situation.

Benefits Of Hand And Foot Reflexology

Source: spectrumfootclinics.ie

Do you believe that our body is designed perfectly? Every part of it is connected, and each piece is wired to our hands and feet. Hand and foot reflexology has been one of the preferred alternatives to invasive clinical strategies. With every part of our body wired to them through our veins, it should not be a surprise that hand and foot reflexology is used to help treat patients with specific illnesses. This therapeutic approach is widely known in Asia where natural medicine is popularly practiced alongside natural medicine where they use plants and herbs for treatment of several diseases.

 

Naturopathic doctors or doctors who believe and practice natural medicine to better a person’s wellbeing also use hand and foot reflexology to determine if there is something wrong in our body, and it can even tell which part. It takes a lot of time and training to learn this kind of technique, but it has been known to be useful especially when you have the will and the right discipline.

Source: healthydietbase.com

What are the benefits of hand and foot reflexology?

 

  • Regular therapy and massage can help in our overall health. It will improve our blood circulation and get rid of the stress and tension inside. It doesn’t need to use any clinical apparatus or any advanced technology to practice this approach. All it needs is your body, individually your hand and feet.

 

  • Hand and foot massage can also fix imbalances in our body through working on our hands and feet. Experienced hands can determine even the smallest imbalances caused by blockages in our veins. These blockages can be fixed by regular therapy promoting better blood flow along with a healthy diet.

 

  • Hand and foot reflexology can relieve specific symptoms and pains we commonly feel when we are sick such as headaches, stomachaches, and cough and colds. There are particular points on our hands and feet that when applied pressure on can relieve the pain. This is very beneficial especially for people with kids who are the most common to have these.

 

  • Hand and foot reflexology is safe and does not have any side effects that we should be worried about. It is used alongside natural medicine like herbs and plants, that’s why you can be sure that it would not do any harm to your body. It is widely used not just for people with illnesses but also for healthy people who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Source: prima.co.uk

Aside from the above conditions that can be relieved by hand and foot reflexology, it can also help in the treatment of more advanced conditions like asthma, pancreatitis, kidney problems, some ear and eye problems, etc. Hand and foot reflexology uses the pressure put in the hands and feet to normalize blood flow in the specific part of the body connected to them through our veins. Remember, that body is like a clock, functioning with the help of every single part of it, from the biggest to even the tiniest bit.

Common Spices For Natural Medicine

Source: healingspiritualist.com

Have you ever thought about why people from the past lived longer than people from today? They didn’t have all the advancement in technology and medicine yet they lived healthier and longer. Maybe it is with the progress of lifestyle that our bodies are growing weaker. If you look around you, you may realize that all this time you didn’t even notice that everything is already humanmade!

 

There is nothing wrong with advancement. It just means human race is doing a great job with all the resources this world has to offer, but at this point, we may consider having a second thought about how we take care of our wellbeing. Maybe, it’s time that we look back and find natural medicine.

 

“We are what we eat.” With all the fast food chains and processed food in the market, it’s hard to stay healthy. These foods fit our busy lifestyle nowadays. All we have to do is pay and eat, and if we feel off and sick, we go straight to the pharmacy.

 

Have you ever take a look at what you have in your kitchen? You may just have what you need for that stomachache right under your nose. Most of us are unaware of the significant benefits of even the most common herbs and spices we see in our kitchen.

 

What are some typical spices most of us didn’t know have significant health benefits?

Garlic

Source: freshharvest.co

Garlic is one of the most commonly used spices in almost all the cuisines worldwide. It is known as “the stinking rose” because of its intense aroma, but garlic is not just a spice in the rack. It is used to treat specific ailments for over a thousand years. Garlic is filled with vitamins and minerals that our body needs such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, and fiber. It can also be a source of other essential minerals such as calcium, iron, and potassium.

 

Garlic is used as an antibiotic, especially for campylobacter bacterium which causes stomachaches. Garlic is also used to get rid of toxins from the body which causes us to be ill. Some studies also show that regular consumption of garlic can help prevent certain kinds of cancer. 

Onion

Source: thepagemagazine.com

Onion is commonly violet in color, and just like garlic, it is usually used in almost all cuisines worldwide. You may have been cutting it half your life, and it might have made you cry as much. But little did you know about the health benefits that you can get from consuming onions.

 

Onion is used for treating specific ailments such as asthma, cough, and colds. It serves as an antioxidant to get rid of toxins that are harmful to the body. Its antibacterial properties are also used as an antifungal, and it helps in oral hygiene. It is used to prevent tooth decay and other oral infections. 

Ginger

Source: tophealthnews.net

Ginger is yet another one of the most common spices in our kitchen. It is also usually used in all cuisines worldwide and often used for teas. It has a distinct aroma and is very good in relieving nausea and vomiting and morning sickness for pregnant women.

 

Ginger, since the ancient times, is used to relieving sore throats and other inflammations. Ginger is also used for boosting the immune system, improving respiratory conditions and preventing certain types of cancer. It also used for treating inflammation and diarrhea and relieves pain correlated with menstrual disorders.

 

Our world, nowadays, is full of the ingenuity of men that we almost forget this world already has what we needed right from the very start. Maybe sometimes, we need to pause and appreciate what was initially designed for us, and we may discover that what we needed was just right in our kitchen.

Tips for Beating Back Anxiety and Depression – Naturally

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Stress, changes, problems at work or in the family, uncertainty about the future: persistent sadness or nervousness can sneak up on anyone, and do at some point in most people’s lives. While these mental troubles can apparently be caused by a variety of happenings, the events that seem to lead up to them are often just the last push needed to throw you off kilter. This is almost always the case when the result is actual, clinical depression or anxiety disorder, but your bodily health truly does have an effect, and indeed a significant one, on your mood. 

 

It’s natural to feel badly after a setback or disappointment, but especially if such feelings persist for more than a week or two, it might be time to get your house in order in more ways than one. You may or may not consider your body a temple, but it is certainly going to play home to the rest of you for the foreseeable future. While you shouldn’t expect instant results, some basic steps will certainly have effects that are both positive and long-lasting. Anyone who feels that their energy, hope and motivation is draining away can benefit from doing these things.

 

Watch What You Eat

While there isn’t much wrong with reaching for a bowl of ice cream or a glass of wine at the end of a rough day, this will do you no favours if your state of mind has already been low for a while. In general, a diet which is healthy in other ways – whole grains instead of refined starches, some vegetables, some lean protein, and cutting out risky treats such as sugar-laden snacks and alcohol – is good for your brain and hormonal balance, which will certainly reduce your stress levels and improve how you feel.

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There are a few foods with some specific mental benefits, at least anecdotally: oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), berries, nuts and seeds are all things to consider without needing to raise your weekly grocery budget by more than a few pounds.

 

Meditation

Source: yogajournal.com

A number of people will scoff at this, or claim that they “meditate on the toilet”. Still, the science is clear: meditation has similar effects to antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. Though it’s not easy to become good at it, anyone can start. Both inherently religious and completely nondenominational forms of meditation exist.

 

Counselling

One of the effects of anxiety and depression is that you lose the ability to see the forest for the trees. There’s some value in the saying about mountains and molehills, but it is also far easier to apply this wisdom when you’re in the right frame of mind.

 

Talking to someone who is trained and experience in helping others gain perspective on their problems has been proven to be extremely helpful, although the average bloke at your local probably lacks the necessary education to assist you. The NHS may offer such services, and there are now also online resources to connect you with a therapist.

 

Exercise

When you’ve been feeling blue for a significant length of time, it really does become worth it to start doing things “right now” which will improve your mood in the hours and days to come. While setting out for the gym might be the last thing you want to do at this moment, there is some good news: you don’t have to start doing bench presses or running marathons. As it turns out, ten minutes of light aerobic exercise is just about as effective as an hour-long workout as far as improving your state of mind goes. A simple walk every day can have effects that last for hours afterwards, while taking a break from your daily routine can be calming in and of itself. If you can work in some exercise every day, the effects quickly become cumulative and even more persistent. 

 

* * * 

We all have things that we know we should do in daily life…next week or so. If you’ve been in a bad mood for several days, though, it’s a mug’s game to treat this state of affairs as something inevitable which you can do nothing about, or simply surrender to it and wait for it to get better by itself. While there are pharmaceutical treatment options available, these are not always effective and can have severe side effects. Before taking a pill, why not spend as little as twenty minutes a day paying attention to the above aspects of your life – you have nothing to lose, guaranteed. 

Nutritional Code: You Are What You Eat

Source: health.harvard.edu

How Your Diet Impacts Your Brain’s Health

Everything you put into your mouth has impacts reaching much further than a simple meal. The brain is working around-the-clock even when you’re asleep, requiring a constant supply of oxygen and fuel. The latter coming from the foods you eat, this fuel impacts everything from the structure of your brain, to the efficiency of its functioning. This means that the nutrients you eat or don’t eat has a huge impact on your mood and psychological well-being. This is a relatively new field, but is something that you can easily take into your own hands. Along the same lines, research has also shown that sedentary adults increase their risk of developing nervous disorders compared to those that are physically active.We’ve all heard “we are what we eat,” withResearchers strengthening the link between the quality of an individual’s diet and mental health status adding new depth to the comparison.

 

Nutrients at Work:

Source: besthealthmag.ca

The brain is nourished by vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which also protect it from free radicals that otherwise can cause oxidative stress. When the body uses oxygen, it leaves behind free radicals as a byproduct, which are capable of damaging cells.Eating low quality foods also has a lasting impact on your brain. Refined sugars can impact the chemistry within the brain by promoting inflammation and worsening glucose regulation. Ingesting refined sugars has also been correlated with amplified symptoms in mood disorders. Researchers at Harvard University have found correlations between a varying levels of nutritious diets and the extent of free radical effects, indicating lasting changes in the brain over time. 

 

The Mind-Gut Link:

Neurotransmitters are the secret behind nutritional neuroscience, shown to be active participants in the neural pathways that travel between your gut and brain.As food is such a source of emotional comfort, it makes logical sense that the processes that incorporate it into your system are somehow implicated by the brain.Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is involved in sleep, appetite, mood and pain regulation, has been shown to have great relevance in systems outside of the brain. Certain foods are also known to encourage better sleep patterns, which adds another layer to the mind-gut connection.

 

Bacteria Rule:

The gastrointestinal tract is lined with hundreds of millions of neurons, releasing the same transmitters found within the central nervous system. Traditionally thought to have the sole responsibility of digestion and nutrient absorption, it has become an accepted concept over time that it is inextricable from mental well-being. Millions of bacteria live in your gut, helping to break down things you ingest and making up part of your immune system. The quality and nutritional density of the foods you eat determines the efficiency with which your brain processes and combines information. 

Your Life is in Your Hands:

Source: healing-affirmations.com

The compounds that you include in your diet can be a first defense barrier against toxins, helping to limit inflammation and build healthy tissue. Research has shown that the most beneficial diet is one filled with vegetables, fruits, unprocessed grains, fish and seafood, accompanied by only modest amounts of lean meats and dairy. Adding certain fermented foods to your diet can also help to improve the health of your gut bacteria. Many foods in the Western diet are processed or refined, which can make it trickier than it should be to find nourishing foods.

 

It Takes a Village…

Today, online interfaces are providing convenient and remote access to personalized professional counseling.Direction from a professional at BetterHelp can help you to not only know what ways are best for you to change your diet but how to successfully implement this treatment strategy to best assist you. 

Exercise and Mental Health

Many veterans suffer from PTSD and other mental health problems. It’s no secret that deployments, operations, and even the lifestyle itself comes with a heightened level of stress that the civilian population cannot understand. Transitioning over is tough for many reasons. Underfunded VA services, and civilian practitioners that just don’t fully understand what you’ve been through can be only half the problem. Getting help can take time but rather than simply lamenting on this, using alternative therapies instead can help. 

Exercise

It’s agreed on by many health professionals that exercise helps depression, anxiety, and a variety of other mental health issues. While actually getting off the couch can sometimes seem impossible, any action is better than no action. Programs like EV fitness and companies like CRT are ideal for this because they bring a veteran mindset and the links between exercise and depression together.

Consider the peak fitness level required of those in combat. It’s not uncommon for veterans to gain weight after service simply because they’re not required to stick to that level of training anymore. Not just that but exercise itself has mental health benefits. 

Brain Science

Source: hopkinsmedicine.org

When we exercise, our bodies release certain chemicals, and in fact, these chemicals are similar in many ways to those experienced in combat. The “rush” of adrenaline for example, and the “high” of survival on a chemical level are not much different than those experienced by an athlete. 

Endorphins

The primary chemical released by the brain during exercise is endorphins. These are “feel good” chemicals, which are released when we experience something good and are what give us the most “high” from exercising. Even eating chocolate can give you a rush of endorphins, which is why so many turn to it when they feel down. 

Serotonin/Dopamine

For those with depression issues, serotonin is often deficient. This is the chemical that not only makes you not want to get off the couch it’s the one that is most often medicated. Most antidepressants work to raise serotonin levels and studies have shown that exercise can have just as much of an effect as medications. 

Dopamine is a chemical released when we feel rewarded. It’s a motivation chemical that when deficient often makes you feel less like doing anything. It’s very similar to serotonin in many ways.

Norepinephrine

Source: livestrong.com

This is a hormone released by the adrenal glands but it’s also used in the brain to improve focus and memory. This is ideal for dealing with anxiety and fixing the scattered feeling many depressives experience. After 20 minutes of exercise, studies have shown that you are more in control of your own mind because of higher norepinephrine levels. 

Endocannabinoids

There’s a strong movement towards using cannabis and marijuana for treating depression. Endocannabinoids, much like the name suggests, give you a similar high feeling to those experienced with THC. 

Is it enough?

Exercise can only do so much. While alternative therapies are supportive, they are not a substitute for conventional means, especially in severe cases. When dealing with PTSD or even just the stress of adjusting to civilian life again, a trained professional can give you alternatives far far beyond effective. Exercise should still be considered part of your treatment and your therapist will likely encourage it, but there may be a more complete treatment plan for you. While seeking help can be a big step, there are thousands like you who have successfully done so. Instead of risking being another statistic on veteran suicide, I implore you to seek help rather than just relying on exercise or other alternatives for severe cases.