Hydration and Mental Health

  Staying hydrated is an integral part of health and wellness. However, it is often overlooked, especially when water is out of sight and out of mind. You’re probably familiar with how hydration is necessary during exercise, fighting a cold, or proper digestion. But did you know that adequate hydration is important for our mental health too? Let’s take a closer look at how it can affect us mentally. Improved Brain Performance According to the National Council on Aging, “even mild dehydration – as little as 2% fluid loss – can affect memory, mood, concentration, and reaction time.” Getting adequate hydration throughout the day can balance all these areas and positively impact our brain performance. As you age, the risk for dehydration increases, and cognitive function can decrease. This shows that proper hydration and water intake are key factors in [...]

Nutrition and Mental Health

  Eating healthy can help us to look and feel our best physically. But little is discussed about how the food we eat can affect our mental health. Eating a diet rich in nutritious foods can help us to feel more alert and think clearly. Well-balanced meals and snacks can also help us to concentrate and improve attention span. On the other hand, eating a diet high in unhealthy foods can affect our brain in a negative way. An inadequate diet can lead to fatigue, impair decision making skills, and slow down reaction time. A poor diet can aggravate or lead to stress and depression. Stress and Depression It has been shown that sugar and processed foods can cause inflammation throughout our bodies. Chronic inflammation can contribute to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. According to the Academy of [...]

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in the U.S. since 1949. Mental health refers to our emotional or psychological wellbeing, and many argue it is the most valuable aspect of health. Mental Health Month was instituted to raise awareness about mental health and signs and symptoms of imbalance that require help from a professional. Mental illness can affect people of any age, including children and adolescents. Our physical and emotional health has been increasingly challenged by the pandemic and other recent events, so maintaining psychological balance is as difficult as it has ever been. Mental illnesses, such as depressive and anxiety disorders, are among the most common conditions in the United States today, affecting one in five Americans at any given time. Despite the huge numbers, many people with emotional illnesses often feel [...]

Make Mental Health a Priority

  May is Mental Health Awareness Month. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), “1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.” Mental health affects all ages, from children to adults, and it is part of our overall health and well-being. Let’s explore why mental health is so important and how we can make it a priority. What is Mental Health? First, let’s start by defining mental health. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes mental health as a “state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Taking care of your mental well-being does not mean an absence of negative emotions or feelings, but it does mean practicing healthy [...]

Exercise and Mental Health

  Mental health is an important factor in overall wellness. Many Americans face mental health challenges daily, which magnifies the need for understanding and managing it. Exercise is proven to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. Let’s take a closer look at how exercise can aid mental health. The Benefits The latest exercise guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services noted how physical activity has “brain health benefits, including possible improved cognitive function, reduced anxiety and depression risk, and improved sleep and quality of life.” Exercise increases the body’s production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters help the body stabilize mood, feel more happy and motivated, and stay more focused (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Physical activity also releases endorphins, often referred to as the “feel-good” hormone, and are a natural pain killer for [...]

Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness Read Time: 1 min 58 sec Mental health refers to your overall emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health is important at every stage of life and it reflects how we handle stress, relate to others, and the kinds of choices we make. A person’s mental health can change over time as they have added stress in their life. Part of mental wellbeing involves balancing ongoing stressors with proper coping strategies and interventions. Mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, and drug and alcohol abuse are a source of tremendous pain and suffering. They are also very common health problems in society today. Researchers tell us that each year 1 in 5 Americans will experience a diagnosable mental illness, and more than half of us will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in [...]

Social Media and Mental Health

Social Media and Mental Health Read Time: 2 min 26 sec As the United States continues its efforts towards containing the coronavirus, Americans are still encouraged to practice social distancing and limit unnecessary gatherings. As a result, many people have turned to social media and other digital platforms to stay connected. More than seven out of ten Americans use some type of social media. Social media is a safe and beneficial way to stay in contact with friends and family, and reduce feelings of isolation; however, some people may experience unintended consequences. Connection in a Time of Physical Distance Physical distancing from others is critical to stop the spread of coronavirus. Social isolation has become a concern for many, especially the elderly, individuals who live alone, and those considered at high risk. For this reason, there has been a rise [...]