If it’s true that we don’t see the world as it is, but rather as we are, it’s only natural for a couch potato’s outlook on life to be pretty depressing. The mind-body connection has been researched in depth in the past couple of years, and to unanimous findings: physical, emotional, and mental health are closely knit and affect each other in multiple ways.
For instance, a sedentary lifestyle paired with a contemporary diet can contribute to the development of depression, anxiety, and a range of other psychological problems, while chronic stress can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and digestive hitches. Blame it on the power of autosuggestion, neural pathways, or biochemistry, but it’s there: the shape of our bodies impacts our mental shape, and our state of mind shows in the physique.
But is there a way to break the vicious circle, build nerves of steel, and boost the body-mind connection by a few simple lifestyle tweaks? Of course there is!
Here’s how you can pull your mental and emotional shape together in a matter of weeks.
Drop Depression, Take up a Sport
Numerous studies have found that regular exercise can help prevent depression and alleviate its symptoms. The same is true of anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, insomnia, and various other psychological conditions which are slowly turning into a global epidemic. Scientists say the reason why training can improve mental shape lurks in the hormonal agenda: physical activity triggers increased
Scientists say the reason why training can improve mental shape lurks in the hormonal agenda: physical activity triggers increased release of happiness hormones (dopamine, endorphin, and serotonin) which are critical for mental clarity, a stable mood, and a positive outlook on life.
The takeaway? To get into peak physical and psychological shape fast, incorporate a beginner’s workout routine into your daily agenda and give mood dips, sleep problems, and stress a heave-ho.
Psychological Health on the Menu
You are what you eat, both physically and psychologically, so it would be a smart idea to spring-clean your menu of empty calories and stock up on natural foods if you want to hack your seamless physical, mental, and emotional shape.
Instead of letting your grief, loneliness, or anxiety feast on sugary snacks, treat yourself to second helpings of ingredients rich in healthy fats such as avocado, dark chocolate, papaya, fish, and seeds. To keep appetite spikes at bay, up your intake of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, and strike a psychological and physical equilibrium by a single health-centered serving.
Sleep Out of Psychological Hitches
Stress can rob you of many a nighttime wink, but it doesn’t mean you should take sleeplessness lightly. Chronic sleep deprivation has a hand in the development of various psychiatric disorders and it can also aggravate existing mental problems. For this reason, strive to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night, and avoid staring at the screen at bedtime.
If you’re having difficulties falling asleep, you can try conscious breathing, meditation, yoga, or aromatherapy. A hot bath or self-massage can also help relieve tension and take you to dream realm in a blink on nights when the Sandman seems to be off duty.
The Inner Temple of Mental Health
Yoga and meditation are getting more popular around the globe with each passing day, and to the humankind’s physical and psychological benefit. Studies have found mindfulness meditation can help treat various conditions ranging from cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure, to focus dips, anxiety, and depression.
Even a brief morning meditation can help tweak your vibes to positive, put problems into perspective, unleash creativity, and infuse your days with an extra dose of happiness, peace, and energy. On top of that, a 2014 study has found that mindfulness meditation can be efficient in countering addictions such as alcoholism and drug abuse.
Based on these findings, meditation can help alleviate the intensity of addictive cravings and post-withdrawal symptoms and reduce relapse rates, while at the same time allowing patients to handle negative emotions with greater ease and efficiency.
Walking into a Peak Mental Shape
Feeling blue, angry, or stressed? Don’t sit on your mental burden: take it out for a walk instead. Walks in nature are good for your figure, cardiovascular system, and circadian rhythm, and they also allow you to spend more time in the fresh air and change your brain’s function pattern. As a neat bonus, walking at daytime will allow you to soak in extra Vitamin D quantities and stabilize your mood, enhance calcium absorption, and ensure seamless immune functions.
Apart from these benefits, walking is a great way to relieve stress, clear your mind, replace negative with positive thoughts, and it also promotes social interaction as an element which plays an important role in the long-term psychological health agenda.
The mind and body are two sides of a single coin: you can’t have one without the other, and you shouldn’t even try to. If you want to remain psychologically healthy, start treating your body as your temple today. After all, you only get one temple per lifetime, so you’d better make sure it stays in balanced shape for as long as possible.
Meet the Author
Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on Ripped.me, or in a tea shop.
Hope you enjoyed Samantha’s amazing guest post! Check out her other guest post here:
I plan to start walking outdoors more to clear my mind. Would love to hear from you…
What are some ways you will give your mind and body a tune up?