When we think about our physical health as a whole, we usually ignore our mental health. You eat healthily or exercise on a daily basis-but when was the last time you thought about your mind’s health?
The secret to a much happier life is a healthy mind within a healthy body. And while a healthy lifestyle can help avoid diseases like heart disease and diabetes, mental health is just as critical as physical health – it should not be ignored.
Here are five quick tips for maintaining a healthy mind and body.
Like any high-performance computer, our brain needs fuel of the highest quality – and that means nutritious, healthy food.
Nutrients help to control brain chemistry and function well. As the body does not contain omega-3s naturally, adding these to your diet is necessary. Foods rich in omega-3 are fatty acids, pistachios, almonds, chia, cashews, flax and walnuts.
Fish such as salmon is a rich source of both omega-3 and proteins. This is why they call it brain food. Nuts and seeds are great everyday snacks, and a great source of vitamin E. Avocados are also high in vitamin E. Leafy greens such as Swiss chard, kale, broccoli, collard greens, as well as, romaine lettuce are all excellent food for the brain. You know what to do – eat your veggies!
The human body is designed for movement, yet few of us use the full spectrum of movement. Exercise stimulates the body to release chemicals – endorphins that enhance one’smood. More strain, more pressure, more oxygen = healthier brain.
A quick, low-impact exercise such as walking 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and a number of other factors that have been shown to increase the risk of developing many mental illnesses as well. So, if you’re going to keep your brain safe, get out there and move!
True, it’s easier said than done. Stress is a part of everybody’s life, but long-term or persistent stress can have negative mental health effects. Learning healthy coping strategies, such as taking a break from the source of your stress or exercising, will help you cope with stress before it leads to a more severe illness.
Meditation and stress management can help to fend off an age-related decline in brain health. Always have as your motto – be optimistic and always be happy. Health they say is wealth, so do everything you ensure you’re protected so you can remain healthy – both physically and mentally.
Your stomach can express when you feel anger, fear, depression or excitement, and that can affect your mental health. Maintaining a healthy diet preserves wellness in the stomach and brain.
A high-sugar diet, unintentional weight changes, disturbed sleep or constant fatigue, skin irritation, autoimmune conditions and food intolerances are all signs and symptoms of bad gut health. So, if you experience any of these it then it is time to get on top of your gut’s health.
Like every other part of your body, your brain needs rest. Sleep energises us, and our mood improves. The brain restores itself during deep sleep and strengthens the immune system. Poor sleep or loss of sleep contributes to tiredness, immune suppression, memory and mood disorders.
Deprivation of sleep can cause severe problems. This increases the risk of severe mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, mania or hysteria, including paranoia. You should be looking for around 8 hours of sleep each night for a healthy brain.