A recent worldwide study has found that 50% of the global population will develop a mental health disorder by the age of 75.
A few findings from the study that I wanted to highlight this week for my readers:
- The most common mood disorders were mood disorders such as major depression or anxiety
- The 3 most common mental health disorders among women are:
- Specific phobia (a disabling anxiety that interferes with daily life)
- Post-traumatic stress (PTSD)
- The 3 most common mental health disorders among men are:
- Alcohol abuse
- Specific phobia
I recently blogged about the topic, ‘Can the Food We Eat Affect Our Mood?’ and how the food-mood connection works and how nutrients in our food influence our mood and well-being. Make no mistake, there is a massive connection between the food we eat and how we feel.
I want to preface this blog by saying I am definitely not suggesting that all you have to do is eat a few more greens and your mental health disorder will disappear. What I am suggesting is that a part of your mental wellness should include healthy nutrition. And furthermore, the foods we choose to eat have a direct impact on how we feel. And it IS an option to feel really really good!
Unfortunately, I think it is all too common for people to feel stuck. If I were to ask you today, “how are you feeling?”, most people would say, “I feel okay!”
What does “okay” feel like? Bloating? A mild headache? Tired? I think society has normalized feeling crummy as feeling, “okay.”But don’t you want more for yourself?
Don’t you want to feel energetic? Fantastic? Wonderful? Great? HEALTHY?
Do you realize that feeling fantastic IS an option for you? If you don’t, I am here to tell you it is. And believing THAT is the first step at creating a healthier life. You have to realize it is an option for you, and then set the ball in motion to make it happen.
From a nutrition perspective, it starts with understanding what foods make you feel great and what foods make you feel not so great. It’s about really tuning into your body and listening to it. Understanding what ‘feeling good’ actually means for you. Listening to your true hunger cues versus boredom or stress cues. Understanding what 80% full feels like instead of 50% or 110%.
Grab a pen and paper, and let’s get started on this for YOU. On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate the following for yourself today:
- Energy (1 is I have tons, 10 is completely depleted)
- Sleep (1 is great, 10 is terrible)
- Digestion (1 is great, 10 is disastrous)
- Stress (1 is cool as a cucumber, 10 is maxed out)
- Anxiety (1 is I have none, 10 is maxed out)
The above five areas are things that we can begin to measure that can help us understand how we feel. And furthermore, what of these five areas do you want to see improvement in?
Are you excited to see how your food choices can help with this?
Helping Canadians understand how to better listen to their bodies is the driving force behind my latest project, The Food Mood Journal.
Launching on September 5th, The Food Mood Journal was designed to help you determine what foods make you feel great, and what foods make you feel not so great. Our food choices have a direct influence on the chemicals produced by our brains. If your system struggles with certain foods, it will directly affect your mood. Understanding what foods negatively affect our physical bodies tends to be fairly easy. When it comes to the affects food has on our mental health, things become a bit trickier.
Tracking what you eat in a day in a healthy way can help you identify how the foods you eat benefit or hinder your unique body. The Food Mood Journal isn’t about judging yourself for how much you eat—on the contrary. It will help you recognize eating patterns so you can make healthier decisions for your body, and in turn, your mood.
As a solo mother and Certified Integrative Nutritionist, I am excited to launch this healthy initiative in a cost-affordable way for people looking to better their health, but need a little professional direction from someone like me. I’d love to have you join us.