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Carrying the Burden of Your Past Into Your Future

Carrying the Burden of Your Past Into Your Future

When you focus on the past, this is known as having emotional baggage. Everyone has stuff come up about their past, but it’s when you focus on it and let it fester that it can cause problems in your present life.

It can also hold you back from enjoying your future life. Emotional baggage can stem from events that happened to you - such as from being in an abusive relationship, from physical or emotional traumas such as a car wreck, or from carrying a burden you shouldn’t be carrying – like guilt.

When you hold onto the burdens of your past, it affects how you live your life now as well as how you’ll live in the future. It can become your identity because you get stuck in a certain pattern that was created by a past event.

 Whatever it is that you experienced then colors how you behave with others, how you handle your day-to-day life, how you process thoughts and what your beliefs are today.

People carry the burden of the past because they’ve never healed the emotional blow that stemmed from the situation.

The hurt they felt back then is still there just under the surface. It might be something that’s steeped in anger or anxiety. Or it could be that you’re stuck in feelings of grief or sadness.

When you carrying a burden like this, it can make you feel like you never left that time in your life. Your emotions will feel as raw now when you think about it as they did back then.

Not only can it weigh on your emotions today when you focus on the past, but it can also hurt you physically. You can develop things like insomnia, chronic stress, stomachaches, elevated blood pressure and more.

In order to leave the past where it belongs, you have to heal. That means you must unload that baggage so you can move on. You should keep in mind that you can’t heal from what you don’t name.

So when it comes to the past, you have to look at it and uncover the pain that’s keeping you tethered to that event, person or whatever it is. Write out the things that bother you now about the past and why they bother you.

It can be helpful to take this list and speak out loud or write a letter that you eventually destroy to the past situation or to the person who wounded you. As you read out the words, picture them releasing into the air, taking the connected emotion with it until it dissipates.

Accept whatever you went through without assigning blame to yourself or someone else. This is a step toward letting it go. It doesn’t mean that someone else isn’t to blame. It doesn’t mean that it didn’t bother you emotionally.

It means that you’re recognizing that the past has had enough of your life already and you’re through with that. Once you identify what happened and what kind of emotional reaction it caused you, you find peace by loving yourself through it.

Be compassionate toward yourself. Forgive the pain of the past. Forgive your mistakes. Unpack the burden of your past by practicing self-help techniques if needed to help heal from past triggers.

Self-Awareness Is Key to Mental Well Being

Self-Awareness Is Key to Mental Well Being

There may be emotional issues that cause strife in your mental well-being. Most of this is related to events that are unresolved from your past. You may struggle with this because actively solving things might not be how you operate in life, so you end up just pushing aside any issues, thinking you’ll deal with it later.

Confronting things that bother you may not be comfortable and you may be afraid it will feel even more painful to look at something under a microscope when you could push it out of your mind instead.

You may fear that if you examine it closely, you might begin to cry and won’t be able to stop – you’ll fall apart. If you find that you’re uneasy confronting whatever is going on internally, then you should know that the problem will never be solved if you don’t push past that uneasiness.

Avoiding something just keeps it swept under the rug, but it’ll always be there and can fester and bubble up to the surface at any time. When you become self-aware, you gain the insight to figure out what your emotions are doing and how they’re impacting your life.

For example, you’ll recognize that you’re angry and you’ll know why you’re feeling that anger. But in addition to that, you’ll be able to see clearly how the emotions that you have can hold you back.

Self-awareness gives you the means to uncover the emotions that are responsible for determining several things, such as how you make decisions, how you don’t make a decision because you don’t want to deal with something, and also how that emotion might inadvertently be the symptom of a bigger issue.

Sometimes people seem to possess a certain personality trait, such as being considered an angry person. But they aren’t truly angry. Deep down, the root of that emotion could be because they’re grieving over the loss of something.

It’s just covered in anger and manifesting in that type of emotion. Once you confront the emotions that you’re experiencing, you can get to the truth. It could be that you practice avoidance in a relationship.

You don’t want to face the emotions that are going on, even though they’re causing you pain. Because you know if you do that, then action is going to be required and you don’t want to have to make a choice to leave or stay - so you put up with the emotional turmoil instead.

When you have unresolved emotions that impact your life, it can affect your mental well being. It can leave you agitated internally, even if you don’t always show that outwardly. This inner emotional turmoil can cause stress to build up and affect you physically.

The root of your emotions is never something easy to face. By becoming self-aware, you will reach the stage where you can know the truth about whatever is going on so you can fix your life and heal.

8 minute meditation review

8 Minute Meditation

Choosing to take care of your mental health can mean turning to helpful resources, such as meditation. But like other people, you might have a lifestyle that’s busy and you don’t see how you can add one more thing to your schedule.

Yet the very hectic manner of your life is the biggest reason you need to take care of your mental health. You might think that meditation is something that’s just too difficult and that you’ll never be able to figure it out.

Maybe you’ve even thought about medication in the past, but decided against it because you thought it would be too complicated. That’s why the book 8 Minute Meditation is so helpful.

You can start a meditation practice that you can do in just 8 minutes so time won’t be an issue. It’s made for people who want to quiet their mind, find peace and improve mental health.

Plus, the guidelines given by the book are simple enough for a beginner to be able to do. The book covers exactly what meditation is and how it’s not a one and done thing but rather something that you can take and use throughout your life.

It also shows how meditation can improve your mental health and your life as a whole. But it also covers what meditation may not be able to help you with. You’ll gain a fundamental understanding of the myths surrounding this tool.

These myths are debunked in the book. You’ll also understand what some of the common issues are that might hinder your ability to participate. The author shares that meditation isn’t something that you set a goal for and accomplish.

It’s something that’s ongoing and can last for a lifetime. The book begins by giving readers instructions that teach you how to set up a meditation habit. It starts out with an eight week program and shares with readers whatever breathing practices they need to follow.

The author shows readers what they need to do as far as breathing techniques. Plus, you’ll learn what you need to do in order to handle your thoughts as you meditate. The book answers questions you might have on beginning a meditation habit targeted toward mental health and well being.

One of the reasons that the book is so easy to digest and makes meditation simple to put into practice is due to the way the author breaks down the instructions into actionable steps.

In fact, once you read through the instructions, you can get started meditating in just 10 minutes. You’ll be able to calm your mind and emotions and learn a healthy way to de-stress as well. If you’re someone who’s looking for a way to practice mental health care, then the strategies in this book are a great idea to implement.

Click here-below to purchase a copy of this book on Amazon 

Superfoods For Mental Health

 

Mental health is just as important as physical health, though many people choose to ignore it. However, if you have a lot of stress from your job or you suffer from panic attacks, then you need to think of better ways to manage these mental health conditions.

This report is going to go over superfoods to add to your diet that help with your mental health. It talks about three common mental health conditions specifically, including anxiety, depression, and stress. However, many of these superfoods help with other mental health illnesses as well.

Anxiety

The first category of mental illness that superfoods can be ideal for is anxiety. Many doctors will recommend changing your diet if you suffer from anxiety, whether it is general worry or an actual anxiety disorder. With anxiety, you typically have a general feeling of worry and unease, often not brought on by anything.

There are different anxiety disorders you may suffer from, like generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, panic disorder, or a phobia like agoraphobia. Regardless of what it is, your diet could be helping or hurting you. Here are some superfoods that have been known to help with anxiety.

Dark Chocolate

It is not unusual that dark chocolate would be recommended as a superfood for anxiety. It is considered a superfood because it is filled with lots of essential nutrients, primarily with the antioxidants it has. Dark chocolate helps with anxiety thanks to the nutrients that help to reduce cortisol in the body. This is a stress hormone that leads to stress and anxiety symptoms, so a little dark chocolate is great for you.

However, before you grab any dark chocolate off the shelf, make sure it doesn’t have added milk or sugar. It should be fairly traded and organic, without a lot of additives. The sugar can actually make your anxiety worse, so you want to avoid it as much as possible. Dark chocolate with cacao of 60% or higher is usually recommended.

Asparagus

One of the best vegetables to have when you suffer from anxiety is asparagus. This green vegetable has a mild taste so that it tastes good with a lot of different meats and veggies. It is rich in folic acid and B vitamins, making it a superfood that is good for general health. The folic acid, also called folate, is what is going to help with anxiety. Folic acid has been linked to lower levels of anxiety and reducing panic attacks in people who suffer from panic disorder.

Seaweed

Seaweed is a really important superfood, so try to add it to your diet if you can. Seaweed contains a good amount of magnesium, which can help reduce your anxiety and stress symptoms. Seaweed has many other nutrients as well, similar to those found in whole grains. It is low in fat and helps with general wellness, including mental illness. It is also a really good option if you are sensitive to gluten.

Acai Berries

If you struggle with anxiety, you should definitely give acai berries a try. These are one of the most popular superfoods for everyone, from those trying to lose weight to people who have stress, anxiety, or depression. Acai berries are often found in packets which have the acai berries to add to smoothies, juice, and other recipes.

A really good option is to make yourself a smoothie bowl that includes acai berries, fruits, a cream base like yogurt or milk, and veggies if you want. These are fun, delicious smoothies that are a little thicker and tend to include more superfood ingredients.

Almonds

The last superfoods to try if you have anxiety is almonds. While many nuts have a lot of nutrients and fit in the superfood category, almonds specifically are good for anxiety and panic attacks. This is due to the zinc in almonds, which is good for balancing your moods. Many people have anxiety as a result of heightened stress, so when you can manage your stress with more zinc in your diet, it might reduce your triggers and help with your anxiety.

Almonds are also a good source of iron and various other healthy fats, which everyone should have more of. The iron in almonds further help with lack of energy and brain fatigue, both of which can also trigger your anxiety or panic attacks.

Depression

The next mental health illness we want to discuss is depression. This is also a mental health condition where doctors and therapists often recommend changing your diet because of the large impact it can have on you.

Approximately 16 million people in the United States alone have depression, but that doesn’t even include the estimated 350 million people worldwide suffering from it, according to the World Health Organization. This is a massive amount of people struggling with the feelings of hopelessness, sorrow, and sadness on a regular basis, often with no triggers or warning signs.

There are a lot of people out there with depression, but changing your diet can be the first start to helping manage it. First of all, you want to avoid certain things that can make your depression worse, including high amounts of sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. Next, try to add more of the following superfoods to your diet.

Maca Powder

The first superfood you can try for your depression is maca powder, which comes from the maca root. This is a root that grows mostly in Peru, but you can get the powdered or dried forms of it internationally. Maca powder is very nutritious, and often on many superfoods lists because of how many different vitamins and minerals it contains.

Maca is a type of adaptogen, so it is going to help reduce your stress levels. Since stress is often linked to both depression and anxiety, this makes it an excellent superfood to start with. It will also help with energy and stamina, both of which decline greatly during depressive episodes. Other nutrients that maca powder has are potassium, magnesium, calcium, many B vitamins, vitamins C and E, and iron. It also has some selenium and zinc in it for good measure.

Oranges

Citrus fruits in general are often at the top of superfoods lists, including lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. With oranges, you are also getting a fruit that has health benefits for people with depression and other mental health conditions.

Oranges have a high amount of vitamin C and antioxidants, which provide natural anti-depressant qualities when you eat enough of them. There are also complex sugars (the good kind of sugar), in addition to folate and various other vitamins and minerals. The vitamin C is the important nutrient in oranges, because it can help boost your serotonin and dopamine levels, which help people who suffer from depression.

Coconut

Just about every form of coconut can be beneficial if you have depression. This includes everything from drinking coconut milk or water, to cooking with coconut oil or even coconut butter. Coconut is a type of fruit that grows in tropical areas. People use all different parts of the coconut to make oil, water, or milk, since they all contain a lot of nutrients.

Coconuts have plenty of potassium, lots of electrolytes, and plenty of protein and fiber. Many people with depression struggle with side effects that are more physical, affecting their skin and nervous system. The nutrients in coconut meat can be very helpful for these individuals. Overall, it is great for general wellness and mental health disorders like depression.

Lentils

If you are looking for a superfood to help with depression that also has a lot of fiber and protein, lentils are a good option for you. Lentils are a superfood thanks to the large amount of nutrients combined, including iron, folate, fiber, manganese, and protein. The phosphorous and manganese helps to give your mood a natural boost and give you more energy, both of which are affected by depression.

You can also get higher levels of serotonin and dopamine in your system form many of the nutrients found in lentils. Lentils are easy to add to your meals, whether you are making soup or chili, or using them as a side dish.

Spirulina

The last superfood on the list for depression is spirulina. This is one of the more unique and lesser known superfoods on the list. Spirulina is a type of blue green algae. It is made up almost completely of protein, nearly three times more that poultry or fish. Spirulina also has no cholesterol, but lots of nutrients like omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, beta carotene, iron, and antioxidants.

When you have depression, you are often lacking in both strength and energy. It zaps nearly everything you have, making it hard just to get out of bed. Foods like spirulina are perfect when this is one of your biggest side effects of depression.

Stress

It’s hard talking about mental health without also discussing stress. This is one of the most common mental health issues people face, affecting people of all different ages and occupations. Emotional and mental stress doesn’t just affect you mentally, but physically as well. You might have low energy, mood swings, lack of motivation, and many other negative side effects just because of your stress.

There are a lot of ways to start reducing your stress, but looking at your diet is a common one. There are certain superfoods that are good for stress relief, just like when you are eating for depression or anxiety. Here are some superfoods to add to your diet when you struggle with a lot of stress:

Beets

First up are the beets, which might not be your favorite vegetable. However, give them a chance because they are good for you, an excellent superfood with tons of nutrients, and can be very flavorful when made the right way. These bright pinkish-purple vegetables can be added to salads, cooked on the side of your main protein source, or added to a casserole of your choosing.

Beets contain a lot of folate, over 30 percent of your daily minimum is just one cup of the bright vegetable. Lack of folate can be linked to stress, including confusion, insomnia, and overall mental fatigue. So what you may need is more beets in your life. These also contain a lot of other excellent vitamins and minerals that help with stress, diabetes, cholesterol, and arthritis.

Mushrooms

Another vegetable on the list of superfoods for mental health, particularly stress, is mushrooms. These are super low in fat and carbs, so they work great with a lot of different diets. Mushrooms have a high amount of selenium, known to help with fatigue, stress, and anxiety. They also have vitamin D, which is actually rare for plant sources to have it naturally. With enough vitamin D, you will be able to get help for mood disturbances, depression, and seasonal affective disorder, all of which can be related to your stress levels.

It is super easy to add mushrooms to your diet. Top your salads, replace burger patties with Portobello mushrooms, add them to an omelet with ham and cheese, or make yourself some soup, chili, or pasta sauce with mushrooms.

Milk

Diary is also considered a superfood, especially if you are dealing with stress. Most of the nutrients found in milk can help with your stress levels, including vitamin D, A, and calcium. Milk also has good antioxidants and protein, which are also important for making you feel more relaxed. These nutrients will reduce free radicals as they are often linked to feeling stressed out.

You might want to try skim or reduced fat milk, but full-fat dairy products are also fine. Have some oatmeal or cereal with your milk, have a glass with your meals, or make fruit smoothies with milk and superfood fruits and vegetables.

Turkey

Lean protein can also be a good superfood when you have a lot of stress in your life. Turkey breast is linked to happiness and relaxation thanks to the amino acid tryptophan. This is the same amino acid linking eating turkey at Thanksgiving to wanting to take a nap afterward. This is because turkey can help to relax your mind and body, which is a good thing when you have a lot of stress.

If you are a vegetarian or vegan and don’t eat turkey, not to worry! There are plenty of meatless options that also contain tryptophan, including lentils, beans, oats, tofu, nuts, and seeds. If you are a pescatarian, you can also enjoy eggs and fish for the amino acid that will relax you.

Green Tea

The last superfood on the last for stress and mental health is green tea. Green tea is extremely good for you, which is why it is often recommended for other health benefits as well. Green tea helps to boost your mood, relax you, and make you healthier in general. Try to drink more green tea and you will start feeling much better.

The dramatic role of nutrition in mental health

Must watch: I highly recommend you watch this for your family’s sake!

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In this critically important talk, clinical psychologist Julia Rucklidge explores a range of scientific research, including her own, showing the significant role played by nutrition in mental health or illness.