The lifestyle choices you make can not only have an impact on how you feel physically but on how you feel mentally, too. What some may not realize is that the mind and body may be connected in many ways and that things that affect you physically can also end up having a direct impact on your mental health.
While this may seem like a lot to take in for some, the reality is that when you harness the power of your mind-body connection, it can be a great tool for improving both your physical and mental health. If you are looking for some changes you can make to your daily health regimen that will not only have you feeling better on a physical level but will improve how you feel mentally too, here are some things to consider.
One thing you can do that will not only give your energy and health levels a boost but will also help provide you with mental clarity is eating more superfoods. Superfoods are foods that are particularly nutrient-dense and can provide your body with more benefits than other healthy foods might. Some examples of superfoods include coconut and olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, apples, blueberries, and salmon. This is by no means a comprehensive list, there are many more superfoods that are worth including in your diet. Additionally, if there are foods that you don't like or struggle to eat, it's okay to avoid them and instead focus on including more of the superfoods that appeal to you into your diet, as this is a diet change that you will be more likely to stick with in the long run.
Try a Supplement
If you want to get more nutrients into your diet, but struggle to do so either because you are having trouble changing your eating habits or you simply don't have the time to focus on your diet, adding a supplement to your daily health routine can be a beneficial alternative. With a supplement, you can help fill in nutritional gaps in your diet, and give yourself an energy boost without having to make any drastic changes. Before you choose a supplement, though, it can be a good idea to do your research and read about things like activated you by Maggie Q because there are so many options. The more research you do, the more likely you will be to find a supplement that truly meets your specific needs.
Cut Out Sugar
Along with including more healthy foods and supplements in your diet, cutting out harmful ones can make a big difference for your health as well. Eating too much sugar can not only sap you of your energy and lead to weight gain, but it can also have a negative impact on your mental health. This is due in part to the fact that sugar causes your blood sugar to spike, and then crash. While it may give you a boost of energy when your blood sugar is spiking when it crashes you will often feel exhausted and experience a poor mood. Over time, this can lead to more serious health conditions, like diabetes or heart disease.
By cutting out or reducing your sugar intake, you can also help reduce the inflammation in your body, which helps you to be more energized, and more mentally alert, as well. If you feel daunted by the task of cutting out sugar, a good place to start can be simply tracking the amount of sugar you eat in a day, that way you can get a sense of the kinds of changes you should make.
Stay Physically Active
Your physical activity levels are another important component of staying healthy both mentally and physically. Regular exercise helps improve your muscle tone, flexibility, and blood flow, and it can be great for balancing your hormones and boosting your mood, too. When you work out, feel-good chemicals called endorphins are released. Endorphins help reduce feelings of pain and create greater feelings of pleasure. Other hormones that improve your mood and generate feelings of well-being, like serotonin, are also released by exercising.
Because of these mood-boosting benefits, regular exercise can be helpful when it comes to easing many mood disorders, including things like anxiety and depression. When it comes to your workouts, what kind of exercise you do often isn't as important as the fact that you do it regularly. In many cases, 15 to 20 minutes of exercise a day can be enough to start seeing benefits.
Get Better Quality Sleep
Sleep is another significant factor when it comes to living a lifestyle that supports good mental health. Many may be aware that if they miss a night of sleep, they will feel groggy and cranky the next day. What they may not realize, however, is that the negative impact of missing sleep could go much deeper than that. When you sleep at night, your body is doing a lot of work to heal and repair itself, and this includes your brain. Not only does your body do work to regenerate cells in your brain, but it also clears the brain of toxic buildup that can have a negative impact on your mood and your overall brain function. Over time, if there is too much build-up, there could be significant cognitive decline, as well as the development of mood disorders.
While it may not always be easy to get a full 8 hours every night, making sure you can get as much quality sleep as possible each night can make a huge difference for your mental health. If you struggle to sleep at night or struggle to stay asleep, it may be a good idea to work on your sleep hygiene. By doing things like cutting down on caffeine, limiting screen time before bed, and making sure that your bedroom is cool, quiet, and dark, you can help improve your odds of getting deep, restorative sleep at night.
Pick Up a New Hobby
Picking up a new hobby, or spending some time on one that you already enjoy can be a great way to boost your health and your mental function as well. Not only can activities like reading, gardening, or playing an instrument be relaxing and stress releasing, but they can help keep your brain sharp. The more that you engage your brain in new tasks, the more that you can create new mental connections, and keep more areas of your brain active and healthy. Not only that, but putting effort into a task and watching your skills grow can provide a great boost for your confidence levels, and overall well being, too.
Get Your Sunshine
Vitamin D, sometimes also known as the sunshine vitamin, can have a wide-ranging impact on almost every area of your health. Not only can vitamin D help prevent many serious health issues like multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis, but it can also do things like help regulate weight and mood as well. Some studies also suggest that vitamin D may also play a significant role in curbing depression, and other mood disorders. In fact, some even think that the reason many experience winter blues is due to the reduced exposure to sunlight during this time.
While it may not always be easy to soak up rays all year round depending where you live, that doesn't mean you can't get plenty of vitamin D. If you live somewhere with limited amounts of sunlight, or that is only sunny during warmer months, trying a vitamin D supplement can be a good way to help maintain appropriate vitamin D levels. Additionally, you don't always have to spend a lot of time outdoors to get enough vitamin D for the day. In many cases, spending between 15 and 20 minutes outside each day is enough to generate the recommended daily amount of vitamin D.
Many may be aware that staying hydrated is an important part of maintaining overall health, but what they may not know is that it can be an important part of maintaining mental health as well. Not only can drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day help to keep your body rejuvenated and flush out toxins, but some studies suggest it can also help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression as well.
Some Last Thoughts
While many may realize that their lifestyle choices affect their physical health, they may not realize that they can also affect their mental health. Even though it may be intimidating to think about how every healthy choice you make can affect both your body and mind, the more you understand the mind-body connection, the more you can have control over your health. By realizing this and taking time to do things like improve your diet, stay physically active, and get good sleep, you can start improving your mental clarity and mood today.