Your mind and body go hand-in-hand. Your physical health has an impact on your mental health, and vice versa. People with mental health problems, such as depression, can have worse physical health and a worse perception of their own health versus someone without mental health problems. We want to help you to break that cycle, or if possible, prevent it from beginning. Even if you don’t currently suffer from a mental illness, these tips can help you stay on top of your mental health while maintaining physical health!
Exercise causes your body to release chemicals called endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body and diminish the perception of pain. They also help with an increase of self-confidence. Some great forms of moderate exercise are biking, gardening, dancing, swimming, and yoga. Even a quick walk or jog around the neighborhood will help!
Improve your odds for a better sleep. One way to do this is to turn off all electronics an hour before you go to sleep. Feel free to read or do any other relaxing activity in your time before bed, as long as it doesn’t involve blue light, which electronics emit and confuse your brain into thinking it’s time to wake up! It can also be helpful to avoid doing work or anything stressful in bed, so that your bed is only associated with relaxation.
Improving your diet can help your mental health tremendously. It will also fuel you properly for exercise and sleep. When in doubt, eat foods with antioxidants such as broccoli, spinach, and carrots for Beta-carotene, and blueberries, kiwi, and oranges for vitamin C. Increasing protein can also help with alertness – eat turkey, fish, and nuts. For specialized diet advice, see our Think Dietician Michelle Ring. She’s accepting new patients!
These tips may seem simple, but fueling your body with sleep and good food, and then getting in a daily exercise can greatly improve your mental state.
Still not convinced? Did you know your heart has up to 40,000 neurons located around the right ventricle? These neurons decide how you feel, too, and they send signals to your brain. So, your heart has a brain of its own! Our physical and mental states are so connected that it can be difficult to perceive your own health, which is why we recommend regular checkups with your primary care doctor. You can also schedule an appointment at your convenience with one of our mental health professionals.