How can we reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and boost our immune system in a natural, holistic way? Here are 5 holistic tips for improving your mental health and cleaning up the junk accumulated during the winter months:
Sounds easy, right? This is the most important basis of nutrition, but most of us who live in the US are dehydrated. Dehydration can cause depression, irritability, anxiety, headaches, joint pain and much more. When we start drinking half of our body weight (ounces) in quality filtered water every day, these things start to subside within a week or two.
Also, drinking two 16-ounce glasses of water in the morning will immediately flush out the toxins that were released from sleep last night. It improves mental clarity and gives your body systems the necessary jump start.
Simple again. But is it? How do you eat your breakfast this morning? I know that when you drove to work in traffic, you put an energy rod in your mouth. We all do it! But it can destroy your emotional stability, mental clarity and stress levels. Unnutritioned food causes an immune response, inflammation, foggy head and a host of other mental health problems.
In order for our digestive system to do its job, we need to be relaxed. That means sit down to eat, take a deep breath and take some time to pray or meditate, slow down your eating and food chewing, remember what you eat, and finally sit down for a few moments after sitting down. We must leave room for the proper functioning of our system.
Sugar causes inflammation and hormonal imbalances, both of which can cause feelings of depression, anxiety, and irritability. I can't tell you enough what is damaging to sugar and other refined products for every cell, organ and system in the body. If you are struggling with mental health or stress, take this tip very seriously and eliminate these things from your diet. Also, adding fats to your daily diet can work wonders for your mental clarity and brain function.
After all, brain cells and nerve coatings are made of essential fats. Good fats presented are: organic flax, cod liver, coconut and olive oils, avocados, free range eggs, fats of animal origin and naturally caught oily fish such as salmon. These fats also help the body use fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and boost the immune system.
Even if you can't get outside, there's no excuse! Training is so important and is a central topic of conversation about how to deal with stress and how to relieve stress in general. Run on the treadmill, have a drink with your favorite Youtube Tutorial, whatever your fancy, go for it! Stretching is particularly beneficial to me during these winter months and as I do so, I feel liberated both physically and mentally.
There are some relaxation techniques that are just ridiculous to me, especially ways to cleanse my mind. I don't know about you, but I can't clear my mind and what I try to do is more stressful for me than not doing at all. I like to embrace the reality that I mean and go along with it. One day when I was trying to "cleanse my mind" with a relaxing tape, I started laughing. I laugh mostly at myself, but also at the person who led the meditation. In all of this I noticed something … laughter is a great stress treatment. I practice it often by watching funny movies and going out with friends who make me laugh. I wear it in my daily life, laughing at myself. I laugh at myself when I get angry, when I react when I approach a deadline, and so on. There are more important things than I or how I feel about things! So I'm laughing at it.
If you follow these five tips, I know you are experiencing the necessary relief and healing.
About the writer: Morgan Smith is a Certified Nutritionist in Madison, Wisconsin.
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