It has been a rough year for many, many people. 7 out of 10 women in one survey said they felt more stress and exhaustion than before the pandemic. And the number of calls to emotional health lines has grown (like many of our waistlines).
Anxiety, depression, and suicide have all increased, as has overeating, obesity, and all the illnesses that go with them. When it comes to health, the mind and body truly are united...for good or bad.
A Good Mind-Body Marriage.
If a “lifetime” relationship truly exists, it is this one. In fact, a 2013 Australian study showed that imbalance in the nervous system’s neurotransmitters, combined with the body’s hormones, was linked clearly to the development of psychiatric illness.
When we react poorly to certain situations, the stress, depression, or anxiety produced has an actual effect on our body’s health. It can cause:
- Metabolic changes
- Cardiovascular illness
- Increased inflammation.
The relationship between coronary artery disease and depression, for example, has been extensively studied. Inflammatory and endocrine agents also can alter the central nervous system, putting us at risk for mental illness.
What can we do to make sure our mind and body are working together for a healthier life?
We can take in better nutrition, with good fats from fish, nuts and avocado, lean protein (like from eggs), fruit, and green vegetables.
Reward your brain in healthy ways
Our brains need the right kind of rewards to stimulate body and mind balance. For example, if you add cacao or strawberries to your diet, it can spur dopamine production and help you feel more motivated.
Support from herbal infusions
Herbal infusions from adaptogens like ashwagandha, ginkgo biloba, ginger, rosemary, St. John's wort, saffron, rhodiola, and basil, can, in addition to improving good body function, increase the serotonin that helps us stay positive, happy, and balanced. They can also help with calmness and improved sleep.
Add pro and pre-biotics
There is a proven link between good mental health and good gut health in the microbiome of the digestive system. We can improve our gut health and serotonin levels when we take in products rich in probiotics like yogurt and kefir. We can also take in prebiotic foods like whole grains, bananas, and vegetables to improve our intestinal flora.
Push yourself to exercise more
Exercise is perhaps the most powerful tool to support a positive mind-body balance. Give the brain the oxygen it needs to create new and better connections.
Get more of that wonderful sleep
Our brains are working while we sleep to repair themselves and strengthen the connections made during the daytime. But a recent study showed that periods of stress, depression, and anxiety created by the unique circumstances of this COVID-19 year can harm our sleep patterns, creating even more problems. Check back with our recent articles for tips to take control of your sleep.
Reset, recharge, and take control of your own health!
It’s not easy to live our best life, but we can’t trust anyone else with the responsibility. Make sure you schedule the activities and pastimes that make you happy. Music? Painting? Gardening? A trip to the beach? Whatever makes you happy, wake up early and make it happen!
And if at any time you feel like you need a little extra mental help, please seek out a professional.
Don’t give in to these dark days! You can put your mind and body can get back in sync.
We’re right there with you!
Your team at Santo Remedio