As social beings, it has become increasingly difficult to adapt to our current environmental stressors. We are in the season of warm weather coming our way and people are itching to get out and about. Mental health is key for overall wellness and couldn’t be more important than now. Follow our tips to improve and maintain a strong mindset.
What Is Mental Health?
By definition from Mentalhealth.gov, “mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices”.
We have all heard the term “mind over matter”, and that is because our mindset can determine the outcome of the circumstances in which we are dealt. When we do not have a positive mindset, stress becomes amplified, poor choices are made and negative thoughts about others or oneself begin to surface.
Challenging our minds and practicing positivity on a regular basis can improve our relationships, our physical health and our entire outlook on life.
4 Tips For a Strong and Positive Mindset
- Eat healthy. If you owned a luxury vehicle you would put only premium fuel in it because that is the only way it will properly function. Well your body is no different. Your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel. Eating highly nutritious foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from the free radicals produced when the body uses oxygen, which can damage cells. Avoid eating foods that are high in sodium, sugar or saturated fat. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep, appetite, moods and pain. Since most of our serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, it makes sense that our digestive system doesn’t just digest food, but also guides emotions.
- Exercise regularly. The benefits of exercise for mental health are no secret. There is tons of research and data supporting the idea that exercise can reduce stress, improve sleep, increase energy and reduce weight. These are all factors that play a role in your mental health. In fact, a recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%.
- Get adjusted. By removing nerve interference, chiropractors are promoting a healthy flow of brain signals, blood and nutrients throughout the body. Our nervous system runs from head to toe, which means one displacement in the spine could lead to a plethora of issues elsewhere. When the spine is properly aligned and the nervous system is functioning properly, it can lead to increased immune system performance as well as soothing any aches and pains related to stress.
- Practice gratitude. An effective way to shut-off our stress response is practicing gratitude. In fact, according to the University of California San Diego and an Association with the University of Sterling in Scotland, they found that people who kept gratitude journals for eight weeks showed reduction in circulating levels of inflammatory biomarkers. They also noticed an increase in heart rate variability, which is an indicator of your body’s ability to respond to stressors. Hear more from Dr. Evan Pridmore about gratitude, mental health and chiropractic care.