Updated: Sep 4
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There are theories out there that claim we manifest our own thoughts into reality. If we think in a positive direction, and give ourselves plenty of positive reinforcement, we will tend to see the world as a brighter place. If we think negatively, our perception of the world will be dark and dismal, and only the bad aspects shine through. In other words, we are what we think.
The same is true for food. What we put into our mouths also affects how we feel. If we eat healthy, nourishing foods, we will have a stronger body and mind. If we only eat processed food, eventually, our bodies and minds will also feel run down and lethargic. Of course, processed food is delicious and very accessible. However, we need to make sure to pay attention to the foods that help strengthen our mental and physical state. This is especially true for those who suffer from mental health disorders, as they are more sensitive to certain foods and drinks. Here are 3 tips to think about before deciding what to eat or drink today.
1. Keep Caffeine and Sugar to a Minimal Amount. Caffeine and sugar are stimulants, and can affect people in different ways. For those who suffer from anxiety disorders or Bipolar disorders, sugar and caffeine can trigger feelings of panic, fear, stress, and adrenaline. Caffeine and sugar also affect sleep, and those who suffer from mental health disorders find that their symptoms become more intense if they are not sleeping well. If you find yourself feeling “on edge” every day and are still drinking caffeine and eating sugary foods, try cutting the caffeine and sugar down to a smaller amount, or giving it up completely. If you still want that coffee in the morning, then switch to green tea. If you still want sweets, find alternative sweets and fruits that won’t affect your cortisol levels You’ll get the flavors without the unpleasant side effects.
2. Don’t Skip Breakfast. So many of us are in a hurry during those morning hours, and we often forget to eat. Also, many of us aren’t hungry in the morning, and we may decide to skip breakfast all together and save it until lunch. This is a bad idea for many reasons. Eating a healthy breakfast in the morning jump starts your metabolism and fuels our brain for the day. If we skip breakfast, we can experience brain fog, and fatigue. Also, remember that eating quality foods in the morning is just as important as eating at all in the morning. Try yogurt, fruit, egg whites, or a delicious smoothie to start your day. Your mind and body will thank you for it later.
3. Focus on mindful eating. For many of us, we often eat for reasons other than hunger—to satisfy emotional needs, to relieve stress, or cope with unpleasant emotions such as sadness, anxiety, loneliness, or boredom. Mindful eating is about focusing all your senses and being present as you shop, cook, serve, and eat your food. While mindfulness isn’t for everyone, many people find that by eating this way, even for just a few meals a week, you can become more attuned to your body. This can help you avoid overeating and make it easier to change your dietary habits for the better and enjoy the improved mental and physical well-being that comes with a healthier diet.
Healthier Foods: Healthier Minds
In short, there’s many ways to improve your mood through nutritional means. Always remember to also incorporate exercise within your new eating plan, as this produces endorphins and helps to even out mood swings. Although altering your food consumption and starting an exercise plan are only two components of improving mental health, they are very important aspects that can truly be the missing links towards more inner peace.
Are you struggling with a mental health issue, such as anxiety and depression? Have exercise and eating properly not been enough to alter your state of mood? Call us at Straight Talk Counseling Clinic at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at straighttalkclinic.org to speak with a professional counselor today.