Post on: March 10, 2020.
Posted in: Read.
It’s okay to not be okay – yet, in moments when it’s hard to breath, or the weight of the world lies heavy upon your shoulders it would be nice to know how you can improve your mental health quickly and naturally. Here are some quick and simple things you can do to help give your mood a boost.
You’re not alone! All of us have days when we aren’t at our best – but, if your finding your mental health is starting to affect your everyday, it’s important to reach out for some help. Mental health can affect your physical health – not feeling mentally well can restrict your ability to choose healthy foods, be active, and maintain valuable social connections.
How to Improve Your Mental Health Quickly
Here are 8 ways you can improve your mental health quickly and naturally:
1.Obsess about the things you love about yourself.
What you think about yourself has a powerful effect on how you feel. Tell yourself something positive using words that promote feelings of self-worth.
2. Focus on something you’re grateful for.
Imagine walking into a room and seeing a sticky note inscribed with the reminder of something you are grateful for. Keep a daily journal of the things you are grateful for each day.
3. Tell someone you appreciate them.
From a manager saying thank you, to a partner expressing gratitude to their loved one, being kind to another person builds better relationships which increases your happiness.
4. Be in the moment.
The practice of mindfulness, being present in the current moment, can help you let go of negative emotions about a past experience, or a future concern that is weighing you down. Putting some attention on the sensations (smells, sounds, feel) around you can help you focus. Wiggle your toes in the carpet. Feel the back of the chair supporting you. Feel the breeze on your face. Grounding yourself by being in the moment can really help.
5. Bust a move.
Exercise is a powerful antidote to stress and depression. Being physically active helps your body release stress. Exercise causes the body to release mood-boosting endorphins.
6. Grab coffee with a friend.
Opening up to someone about your worries can really help. It can be hard sometimes to talk about your feelings, but it may surprise you to hear a friend shares similar feelings, or would like to support you through it. It’s amazing how the planet is filled with so many amazing people – reach out.
7. Take a moment.
Sometimes the best thing you can do to improve your mental health is to take a break. It may be just a moment spent doing some slow breathing exercises. Or, head out for a walk to help you alleviate emotions that are building up. At times, it may mean taking a break for a more significant amount of time from an environment that is distressing you.
8. Eat more plants.
Your brain lives on food. It consumes 20% of your daily calories. As such, it’s no surprise researchers say your mood is affected by what you eat. Shifting towards a whole food dietary pattern helps your brain produce the neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine) that are important in better mental health.
Here’s just a taste of what researchers have found about the way your diet can improve your mental health.
- Researchers at West Virginial University interviewed 1956 students and found those who ate more fruits and vegetables, and less sugar had better mental health.
- Fish and seafood are one of the most nutrient-dense brain foods, containing omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, proven in clinical trials to have a positive effect on mental health. According to Health Canada omega-3 support healthy mood balance at dosages of 1,500 – 5,000mg of EPA+DHA (with atleast 1000mg being EPA).
- Whole foods contain fiber. Fiber is fuel that supports healthy microbes in the gut microbiome which is known to have a significant ability to talk to your brain and improve mental health.
Still not convinced food can make a difference? Australian researchers have reported that a healthy diet may help manage clinical depression. In a group of 67 adults with clinical depression who were living in the community were prescribed a healthy, whole food-based diet by dieticians. Those who ate more whole foods saw greater improvement in their depressive symptoms.
Too busy to eat more fruits and vegetables? Try smoothies. You can whip up a variety of smoothies in a blender in just 3 minutes! Then, simply pour them into your to-go mug, and RUN out the door! Smoothies are perfect for mornings on the run, a quick post workout re-fuelling, or those evenings when the dinner hour is spent driving kids from one activity to another.
RECIPE: Raspberry Mango Smoothie
1 fresh mango
1/2 cup of organic frozen raspberries
a ripe banana
1 cup of water
Scoop of a protein powder of choice
Sprinkle of dark leafy greens (fresh, frozen or dried powder)
1/2 cup of plain, low fat organic greek yogurt (coconut yogurt works great to make this a vegan smoothie)
Combine all ingredients in the blends, blend until smooth, pour into a cup and enjoy this nutrient-packed, smoothie – go ahead, and SLURP!