Mental health awareness
In Australia, around 7.3 million or 45% of Australians aged 16-85 will experience a mental health-related condition, such as depression or anxiety, at some point in their lifetime, according to the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health. It is estimated that $8.5 billion is spent yearly on mental health-related services in Australia, including residential and community services, hospital-based services, consultations with specialists, and general practitioners.
Mental illness is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of psychological, emotional and mental disorders, varying in severity. The effect of mental health is not limited to the individual; family members, friends, and co-workers may be affected in different ways. For both the sufferer and the individual’s support network, extreme stress may manifest as physical reactions, including migraines, headaches, and fatigue. Now is the perfect time to have an open discussion on mental health.
How to improve your state-of-mind.
In today’s society, most of us face increasing commitments. Unfortunately, with so many commitments in our lives, our mental health & wellbeing can become less of a priority. Decreasing stress levels and developing stress coping strategies is key to managing one’s mental health. Of course, there are medically diagnosed mental health disorders where patients must be under the care of a medical specialist, however, the development of stress coping strategies remains a critical part of managing the health issue.
On the bright side, there are many factors that impact our daily wellbeing. The way we react to the daily stresses of life have the biggest impact on our mental and physical health. Here are five simple tips that everyone can adopt to improve their state of mind:
- Keep active: Exercise helps to release feel-good hormones, so find an activity you enjoy and make it part of your regular weekly routine.
- Don’t be afraid to learn something new: Every time our brains learn something new, it changes. Not only will you become a more interesting person and fight boredom, but your brain chemistry will change, and you will increase your capacity to perform other tasks more efficiently. Learning becomes easier!
- Be kind and giving to others: The act of being kind raises levels of dopamine in the brain. This neurotransmitter gives you a natural high, making you feel happier.
- Be mindful of the present: Practice mindfulness, which is the act of being aware and living in the present moment. Don’t let the worries of tomorrow take away your happiness from today.
- Maintain social connections: Put in the effort to up-keep close family and friend relationships. The health benefits of having a strong social network include manifesting feelings of security, safety, and fostering feelings of mutual support for one another.
For more resources on mental wellbeing head to the Mental Health Month Webpage here.
Brain loving nutrients
The following foods and nutrients are fantastic for the health of our nervous system.
Omega 3 fatty acids: A healthy brain fat that helps to reduce inflammation. Found in small, oily, cold water fish, such as wild caught salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines. Don’t like fish? Try chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, or hemp seeds instead.
Go green: Spinach, kale, broccoli and other leafy greens are packed full of antioxidants, such as lutein and beta-carotene which help to keep your brain function up to scratch. Deeply coloured fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, raspberry, dark cherries, and blackberries are another source of antioxidants and phytonutrients which may potentially slow ageing in the brain, and elsewhere.
Spice it up! Spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, and ginger are another source of antioxidants which help to decrease harmful inflammation in the brain. These warming spices also boost circulation, increasing blood flow and ultimately oxygen in the brain.
No yolk: Egg yolks contain vitamins B, D, A, and E, all nutrients which help to improve memory function.
If you’re keen to improve your mental health and get into a health-promoting routine, contact Elevate today. Our health practitioners work in combination to provide a holistic individualised treatment plan that’s tailored to meet your needs. Call Elevate on 9252 2225 for more information.
Cleveland Clinic. (2017). Healthy brains. Retrieved from http:// https://healthybrains.org/pillar-nutrition/.
Mental Health Services in Australia: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2016). Mental health services in Australia. Retrieved from http:// https://mhsa.aihw.gov.au/home/.
Health Direct: Mental Health Disorders (Government Funded Service, 2017). Retrieved from http:// https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/mental-health-disorders.