Our quality of life can be significantly influenced by our mental wellness. There can be many interrelated factors which may be contributing to your mood changes. These may include stressors in your life, such as work, friends, family, financial pressures, and also past experiences.
Suppose you are experiencing persistent feelings of overwhelm, sadness, anxiety, loss of hope, helplessness or panic. In that case, it is imperative to seek the help of a qualified health practioner to assist you in coping.
Your brain health plays a vital role in not only your mood but your cognition, memory and the ability to learn and focus. If your brain is not performing well, its capacity to protect and heal itself, and for neurochemicals to be created and function, can slowly decline over time. You may notice that you feel ‘foggy’, fatigued, lacking in motivation, and have difficulty coping with, and recovering from, stressful situations.
Avoid nutritional deficiencies
Every single chemical reaction that occurs within your body, including your brain, relies on essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Depletion in specific nutrients can be linked to mood disorders. Because the brain is unable to manufacture the mood-lifting and calming neurotransmitters required to keep things stable. A diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit, raw nuts and seeds, good fats and healthy protein sources will help to prevent nutrient deficiencies.
Recent research has identified that mood disorders and memory loss are related to chronic inflammation, both in the body and the brain. Making it even more important to have a diet that is rich in a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit. A medley of different coloured plant foods, as they contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Get your essential fatty acids from oily fish such as sardines & salmon, avocados, walnuts and extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil.
Poor digestion and intestinal health problems can lead to inadequate nutrient uptake; leading to nutritional deficiencies and inflammation. Gut health is a significant consideration in the management of many chronic diseases. There is an influential connection between the function of the gut and brain. The role that gut bacteria play in influencing brain health and how certain types of bacteria can help to produce mood-enhancing chemicals is the subject of much research.
Lifestyle measures such as staying active will also benefit overall body and brain health. Walking in nature daily, gardening, yoga are all very beneficial.
I like my clients to keep a simple mood tracker chart and even better to keep a journal. This assists in tracking and identifying any triggers that may pop up so that we can come up with some management strategies.
Miller AH, Raison CL. The role of inflammation in depression: from evolutionary imperative to modern treatment target. Nat Rev Immunol 2016:16;22-34.
Kelly JR, Kennedy PJ, Cryan JF, et al. Breaking down the barriers: the gut microbiome, intestinal permeability and stress-related psychiatric disorders. Front Cell Neurosci. 2015;9:392.
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