In a world where we face daily stress and challenges, maintaining a healthy state of mind can be a daunting task, so it’s important to make a conscious effort to take care of your mental well-being in the midst of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It is necessary to choose a holistic approach healthencompassing both physical and mental aspects because the two go hand in hand for a happier and healthier life.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, nutritionist Nupuur Patil spoke about why moving the body is important and said, “There is much more to physical activity than just helping you look fit; it also improves your mental health. Regular exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood enhancers, and reduces stress hormones. Activities such as running, swimming or cycling increase blood flow to the brain and stimulate the release of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters such as serotonin.”
She added: “Also, building muscle can increase confidence and self-esteem, contributing to a positive self-image and overall mental well-being. Indulging in mind-body exercises like yoga, tai chi and pilates combine physical activity with mindfulness techniques, reducing stress and improving mental clarity. In addition, deep breathing exercises and meditation are valuable tools to combat anxiety and stress.”
Professional advice: When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take time to care for yourself, such as enjoying a warm bath, reading a book, or spending time in nature, to rejuvenate your mind and soul.
Speaking about social connections, Nupuur Patil said: “Loneliness and social isolation can have a detrimental effect on mental health. The cure is cultivating strong relationships, connecting with friends and family, and seeking support when needed. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust can provide comfort during difficult times.”
What to eat for stable mental health?
Nupuur Patil suggests, “The saying ‘You are what you eat’ has more truth than you think when it comes to mental health. Nutrient-rich foods play a significant role in brain function and mood regulation. Incorporating a balanced and long diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats can have a profound effect on your mental well-being. Foods like salmon, walnuts and flax seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.”
She added: “In addition, complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, can help stabilize blood sugar levels and provide a steady source of energy, reducing mood swings. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, which can help fight oxidative stress associated with mental health disorders. A growing number of studies are establishing a link between mental health and gut health. Including probiotics in foods like yogurt or fermented vegetables can promote a healthy gut microbiome (the microbes that live in our guts), positively affecting mood and cognition.”
She concluded: “Taking care of our mental health is just as important as our physical health. By nourishing our bodies with the right foods, staying active, practicing mindfulness, cultivating social connections and seeking professional guidance when needed, we can pave the way to a happier and healthier life. Remember that it’s okay to ask for help and that small, consistent changes in our lifestyle can lead to significant improvements in our mental well-being.”