Being healthy is more than just not feeling sick or stressed. Instead, wellness is the conscious practice of pursuing a life that is both physically and mentally fulfilling. After all, there is a close relationship between mental and physical health that involves viewing them both as interdependent parts of a person’s overall well-being. In this article, we’ll talk about how maintaining a healthy body also benefits your mental health.
Maintaining a healthy diet has many benefits beyond just improving your appearance. Nutrition experts found that chronic inflammation from an unhealthy diet has been linked to Alzheimer’s, diabetes, auto-immune conditions, and heart disease. Eating right can prevent or alleviate a wide range of health problems. To keep your body healthy, try eating more of the following foods:
- Greens like kale, chard, and brussels sprouts, along with other vegetables
- Frozen or fresh fruits, particularly berries and cherries, which are high in antioxidants
- Healthy fats found in a variety of foods, including olive oil, seeds, nuts, avocados, and fatty fish like halibut, sardines, and salmon
- Amp up your dishes with some fresh spices and herbs to enhance their flavor and nutritional value
Inflammation in the brain and body, brought on by sugar and processed meals, may also have a role in the development of mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Many of us turn to processed foods to quickly perk ourselves up when we’re feeling down.
Some processed foods we consume are incredibly enticing because they trigger the brain’s reward and pleasure pathways, known as the dopamine system. Your cravings for unhealthy foods will end when you cut back or eliminate your consumption of these products. Removing processed foods and added sugars from your diet might have a noticeable effect on your brain.
Eating the right foods can also help improve your bodily and mental health. In fact, the American Psychological Association found that the brain employs a variety of neurochemicals produced by gut bacteria to regulate physiological and behavioral functions, including mood. Gut bacteria are responsible for creating an estimated 95% of the body’s serotonin supply. That’s why it’s recommended to add probiotics to your diet, not only for improved gut health but also for a better outlook.
When looking for a regular workout routine, it’s important to choose an activity you enjoy, whether it’s practicing yoga in your living room, playing a recreational sport with friends, or taking your dog for a stroll. Exercising has been found to promote mental clarity, boost self-esteem, and lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Regular physical activity is popular among health-conscious individuals because of the immense sense of well-being it offers. They have higher energy levels throughout the day, improved sleep quality, enhanced memory, and an overall sense of optimism. Furthermore, it is an effective treatment for a wide variety of mental health conditions.
Exercise has been shown to significantly improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and ADHD when done on a regular basis. These benefits can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their level of interest in fitness. According to studies, even a minimal amount of physical activity can have positive effects. Working out can help people of all ages and fitness levels manage their mental health, increase their vitality and optimism, and enrich their lives.
Physical activity leads to many changes in the brain, such as the growth of new neurons, less inflammation, and new patterns of activity that make people feel calm and well. It also triggers the release of endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals produced by the brain. Last but not least, physical activity can provide a welcome diversion, allowing you to have some much-needed alone time and finally break the vicious loop of negative thinking that sustains depression.
Sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy body and mind. Most people need at least seven consecutive hours of high-quality sleep every night. However, the number of hours spent sleeping isn’t the sole factor in determining whether you’re getting adequate rest. If you want to feel refreshed when you get up in the morning, it’s also crucial to stick to a regular sleep schedule that allows you to get enough quality sleep.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you may find it harder to fight off colds and the flu and even develop health problems like diabetes or hypertension. Furthermore, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol if you are sleepy. This hormone has also been related to an increased risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease. Insufficient sleep also affects our immune system in less well-known ways.
People with depression may benefit even more from a good night’s sleep than the rest of us. It’s estimated that 80% of people with depression also suffer from insomnia, and the difficulty sleeping only worsens with age. Treating sleep disorders alongside depression has been shown to lessen the severity of its effects. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was found to improve sleep quality in a 2016 study by addressing sleep and waking patterns among participants. As a result, this helped alleviate their depression.
Those who don’t get enough rest may become groggy, forgetful, and lethargic. Sleep deprivation also reduces productivity because it impairs your capacity to focus and multitask. By maximizing your rest time, you improve your alertness and safety on the job. If you’re tired, you might not feel like getting anything done, and that could contribute to stress since things will pile up at work or home. Getting enough sleep can help stabilize your mood and make it easier to deal with stressful events.
Studies have proven that when one’s body is healthy, one’s mind follows suit. Both your mental and physical well-being will benefit greatly when you keep a regular exercise routine, eat a healthy diet, and get plenty of sleep. What we’ve shared in this article are only a few ways to improve your wellness, but we hope they’ll serve as a starting point on the road to better health.