Our psychological and emotional well-being creates the basis of our overall health. Approximately 24% of females and 14% of males deal with chronic anxiety. During the coronavirus pandemic rates of depression in the United States jumped from 9% to 28%.
Without balanced emotional health, our physical health takes a toll impacting our risk for injuries, weight gain, the risk for diseases, and risk of illness. High stress, depression, and anxiety levels can contribute to imbalanced gut microbiota and impact nutrient absorption. Poor mental health can even affect our gene expression, increasing our risk for certain familial diseases.
Stress and challenges are inevitable and a part of life. We cannot control or predict what will happen to us, our loved ones, or the world around us. What we do have control over is how we manage stress, how we frame the situation, and our daily habits. Creating positive daily habits to help with our mental health can help keep us in a frame of mind that helps us navigate healthfully through life. Healthy habits can also help manage chronic mental health conditions like ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Try these 7 habits to help your state of mind.
Establish a Morning Routine
Creating a morning routine helps us ease into the day and sets the tone for the day. Having a set routine also helps reduce decision fatigue throughout the day. The more we struggle first thing in the morning to make a decision, the more our energy is depleted already. We make about 35,000 decisions in a day. Easing our way into the day with a set routine can help increase energy, mental clarity, and sense of control.
I get up much earlier (about 5:30 AM) to ensure I have time for my routine. I work better, think more clearly, and am all around happier when I follow my routine. I wake up, make matcha, sit and meditate for 3-30 minutes, walk for 45 minutes, make my Designer Egg smoothie with peaches, strawberries, and banana then get ready for work.
Swap the Negative Mind Chatter
Most of us are programmed to gravitate toward the negative. It’s what the media tends to focus on. Many feel uncomfortable complimenting themselves, possibly due to life experiences growing up or whom they are surrounded with. It’s important to catch ourselves when we speak negatively in our heads or out loud about ourselves or others. Negativity attracts more negativity. When we talk negatively about ourselves or others, we begin to see more negativity in our world and welcome it in. When you find yourself in that mind trap, stop, and replace it with something positive immediately. Practice this until you are in the habit of speaking and thinking more positively.
Here are a few books I recommend to help you change your mindset: Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty, The Mountain is You by Brianna West, Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver, May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein, and Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life by Dr. Wayne Dyer.
Writing in a journal provides a creative outlet to express yourself. It gives you space to process emotions and helps your brain see and deal with them more effectively. Many of us overthink journaling like we have to write a novel with every detail to get the benefit, and you do not. Give yourself 1 minute or even longer to write freely. You can even bullet point your day.
It all starts with sleep. As many as 1 in 3 people are not getting enough sleep. You know that saying, “Woke up on the wrong side of the bed?” Well, it’s kind of true. There is a bidirectional relationship between sleep and mental health. Poor mental health can reduce sleep, while lack of sleep can contribute to anxiety and depression. About 75% of people with depression experience sleep problems. Anxiety and Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can contribute to hyper arousal which can also contribute to disturbances in sleep.
So what do we do? Check your sleep hygiene. Our nighttime routine before bed can significantly impact our sleep. Good sleep hygiene helps put us in the best position to fall quickly to sleep. For best sleep hygiene, try the bellow:
- Go to bed around the same time each night
- Plan to start winding down around 30 minutes before you want to go to bed
- Turn off screens and social media 30-60 minutes before bedtime
- Avoid eating a meal 2-3 hours before bed
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon
- Journal your day before bed
- Try a sleep support supplement like Designer Wellness Sleep Gummies before bed.
- Eat foods with magnesium throughout the day to promote sleep. Great magnesium sources include Designer Whey, Designer Plant, 90% dark chocolate, avocado, spinach, and black beans.
What we eat significantly impacts our mental health. Our brain is 60% fat making the quality of fats we are eating imperative to mental health. To add to this, we make a whopping 95% of our serotonin in the gut! Serotonin is a good feeling neurotransmitter that helps us enjoy life. The balance of bacteria in our gut is impacted by what we are eating. High sugar and highly refined foods decrease our good gut bacteria and set us up for an increased risk for several mental health disorders.
Research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown high-fiber diets may improve depression. Try these fiber enhancing Designer Wellness products to boost your fiber intake.
- Designer Plant: Vegan Essential Meal Replacement- (10 grams)
- Designer Whey: Meal Replacement Protein Powder (8 grams)
- Designer Lite (4 grams)
- Designer Wellness Collagen (3 grams)
- Designer Whey (3 grams)
- Designer Soy (3 grams)
- Aria (3 grams)
Music Affects You
Pay attention to the music you listen to. The messages in music can act like subliminal messages raising certain emotions good or bad. The frequency of music can also increase or decrease blood pressure. Research shows that 432 hertz can lower blood pressure and improve the sense of well-being.
Surround Yourself With Who Make You Smile
Happiness is contagious. We easily take on the emotions of who we surround ourselves with. Surrounding yourself with positive people can affect every aspect of your life, from how you view yourself, how you act at school or work, and how you relate to the world.
Your vibe attracts your tribe. Setting the tone of positivity and happiness will attract more people into your life. Take an assessment of who you have been spending your time with and how you feel afterward. Do you feel energized and positive, or do you feel drained and negative? Pay attention and shift your time as necessary.
Take your mental and self-care seriously. It impacts every aspect of your life. Start with addressing sleep (if that is an issue) then work towards a healthier environment and diet. Sometimes these shifts can be subtle and sometimes they can be completely life-changing a drastic. Regardless, I promise you it is worth it. Check out the Designer Wellness line of gummies and products to help you manage your mental health. Designer Wellness Mood Gummies, Stress Gummies, Gut Gummies, Sleep Gummies, and high fiber and high magnesium products listed can help you are your journey for better mental health.
Ginger Cochran, MS, RDN, CDCES, CEP-ACSM
National Mental Health Institute: Depression
National Mental Health Institute: Anxiety
Calamassi, D., & Pomponi, G. P. (2019). Music Tuned to 440 Hz Versus 432 Hz and the Health Effects: A Double-blind Cross-over Pilot Study. EXPLORE, 15(4), 283-290. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2019.04.001