Our Mental Health is not only about changing our thought patterns. When I assess clients in my private practice, I always get a surprised look when I ask them how much and how frequently they eat, how much they sleep and if they work out. Some of them tell me that they are here for their Mental Health where I explain to them with a smile, that yes, this all ties in with their Mental Health.
You can’t think yourself out of a physical problem!
If you do not sleep enough or eat food regularly and work out, guess what? Yes, it will affect your mental health. We can’t just look at our past, and how our parents had a massive impact on how we react today, we need to look far more deeply into our nutrition and physical health. You get rid of stress hormones a lot quicker when you work out. You feel better, sleep better and will also have more of an appetite. See, if your body is sluggish, your brain and mind will be sluggish too. Remember how fantastic you feel when you work out? Remember how bad you feel after a night out when you had far too much to drink? This all affects your mental health, and a lot of us seem to ignore that.
Professionals need to work together a lot more!
As a Psychological Therapist, I would wish we all would work a lot more together with Nutritionists, Fitness Instructors, Chiropractors, General Practitioners, and Holistic Health Practitioners. My heart was singing when finally Jon Kabat-Zinn the inventor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction was able to implement this into the National Health Care System here in the UK.
Meditation now is a serious and acknowledged approach to get rid of stress and live a more mindful life.
Of course, your mind plays a big part in your Mental Health!
I am not saying that our mind plays no role or only a tiny part. Of course, decision making is mind-based. If we become more aware, we make better decisions. We might finally get our butt off the couch and move our body. We might start to cook healthier and get enough sleep. However, we have to understand that when we go and see a Psychological Therapist, that only talking about the problems will not do the trick.
We need to move; we need to eat healthily, sleep enough and not consume too much alcohol.
Back to basics!
So your Mental Health needs a nurturing ground. Here is what you already can do to improve your Mental Health more holistically:
- Eat regularly and healthy food (please do not skip breakfast and coffee is definitely not breakfast!)
- Workout 5 times a week for 30 minutes has been proven as super beneficial for our Mental HealthWorkout 5 times a week for 30 minutes has been proven as super beneficial for our Mental Health.
- Sleep enough! When we do not sleep enough, we get irritated, eat unhealthily, and definitely do not work out.
- Cut out alcohol. Too much of it can interfere with your sleep and also strips you off vital minerals and vitamins.
- Learn how to self-soothe. Sounds weird? Self-soothing is a way of how you relax, look into hobbies, meditation, creative things like painting, singing, dancing. This all contributes to your mental health.
- Get out of the house and into nature. Nature is healing, get this healthy vitamin D and enough sunlight, especially in the darker month. Nature relaxes, we are so disconnected from it, and I personally believe that this has so many reasons why we are so stressed.
Overcomplicated Mental Health treatments!
We overcomplicate how to treat Mental Health problems. We miss those vital points I mention above, this is why I believe there is a massive problem with over-prescribing. Professionals need to have the guts and explain to the clients that the way we live and what we put into our body and how we treat it, has a massive effect on our mind. I know it takes time, I know people sometimes are scared to change their lifestyles, but we need to be honest, persistent and willing to go through some resistance with some of our clients.