Brain and mental health solutions
When we hear mental health, it can stir up many images. For years it has had a stigma of being something to hide or to be embarrassed about. The good news is, that is changing and it is becoming a much more open and supportive area, but we still have a ways to go.
Our brains are organs, just like our liver, or our heart, or our appendix. Yes, it serves a very different purpose, but at times, any part of our bodies can get “sick” and need support. Mental health can refer to how well our brain and its function is tolerating its environment.
The impact of our brain health is massive. Between making decisions, to mood, to work, to enjoying life in general, we can take for granted when our brains are humming along nicely.
Quickly things can change… Maybe a concussion, loss of memory, dementia, stress, foggy thinking, migraines, anxiety, depression, anger, insomnia, etc… So many things can happen, and it’s fair to say any of these happens to all of us at some point.
That said, it is so important to understand the term plasticity and that it means how our brain can regain its function, brain issues are not set in stone. How our brains can change, is an incredible area, and really a very new area, we are just seeing the impact of the healing power of the brain.
So, how do we help ourselves be in the best position to keep our brains happy and functioning well?
Many things are a part of supporting our mental health. Here are some ways.
List out your stressors on paper. Just that can help. Find your biggest most problematic one, and figure out some solutions for it or find ways to accept it and stop stressing about it. No one else will do this for you. Take control of it, your brain and health depends on it.
Do relaxing activities
Yoga, meditation, deep breathing, stretching, walking in nature. Get to a calm state as best you can at least once each day. Find a hobby that grounds you. Puzzles, fishing, sewing, cooking, reading, collecting stamps, play, music, pet a dog, etc. Something that gets you out of your head and focused on something of interest.
Connect with friends
Feeling connected and supported goes a huge way in feeling a part of a community. Volunteer, help others, be involved in something that gives you a good feeling.
Drinking water is absolutely linked to brain health. Energy, foggy thinking, mood, can all be supported by being hydrated.
This is a big area and one that can reap immediate benefits. The foods we eat will either donate or steel the resources that help our brain to function. Foods with chemicals and additives are important to reduce and even remove as they greatly impact function. Studies on additives like aspartame and it’s effect on brain function are real and critical to know why it is important to avoid.
Healthy fats, proteins, and nutrients from whole foods help our bodies to insulate our nerves, create optimal cell membranes, and support neurotransmitters that can help us regulate thinking and mood and our nervous systems.
Also, there are many foods that are anti-inflammatory. A whole blog coming on that in February. Adding in spices like ginger, turmeric, garlic to your meals is a great boost to soothing inflammation in your body and brain. Also, adding berries to your snacks and breakfasts, will also lessen inflammation and thus improve brain function. ANd don’t get me started on coconut oil - that’s for the next blog.
I plan to get more into the food aspect of brain health over the month of January and share some tips to just add in some simple good foods.
These whole foods that are so critical for body and brain health are easy to find at your local Quality Greens market!
Enjoy your week!