Nutrition, Mindfulness, and Movement
When I started writing this blog the idea was to talk about, learn about, and explore how nutrition affects mental health. And as a therapist who is currently going through school for nutrition, this seemed like an obvious interest. However, the more I read and write about the matter, the more I realize this is not enough. There is no doubt that nutrition contributes, and maybe causes, an increase in mood, energy, and vitality. After all, we literally are not only what we eat, but also we feel what we eat.
This is all fine and good, even wonderful, but it really does leave some space for wiggle room. I mean, say you eat nothing but food from the perimeter of the supermarket – veggies, fruit, meat, and non-processed food – you know, the Michael Pollen diet. Does this mean that you will never have another issue with depression, anxiety, or some other mental health issue? Hardly. This does mean, however, that you will probably have fewer or less severe difficulties – less emotional volatility. But nutrition is only one of a brilliant trifecta that can erase the suffering and pain of an otherwise anxiety or depression filled life.
While nutrition gives you the tools to directly control your brain chemistry, and thereby control your seratonin, norepinephrin, and epinephrin, the rest of the trifecta give you the skills and tools, as well as ability. What this means is that nutrition will leave you less likely to feel out of control as a result of ‘normal’ emotional ups and downs (and be sure that everyone experiences these ups and downs), while the other two pieces of the circle give you the direct tools and skills to confront the anxiety and depression and keep you more centered, and the ability to keep your brain functioning at its best, in the most healthy way possible.
And what are the other two parts? They are mindfulness and movement.
So, with that in mind, this blog will, every now and again, include these subjects. And in the following few days, I will post a bit more about each to explain what I mean by them and also how and why they help.