Healing Benefits of Nature

With spring almost here and the weather warming up, it is a great time to get out and enjoy time in nature.  What many people don’t realize is that time in nature has many healing benefits for the mind and body.  If you are feeling worn out, stressed or even depressed, consider making some time to go walk […]

Steps for Creating More Happiness in Your Life

For 21 days do the following or try to do as many of the following as you can:

  • List 3 different things that you are grateful for each day.
  • Journal about or think about something meaningful that happened each day.
  • Say thank you to or let someone know that you appreciate them each day.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day.
  • Meditate or sit in silence with yourself. Try to focus on your breath for at least 2 minutes.

Understand that:

  • Happiness is a choice.
  • Happiness spreads to others.
  • Happiness is an advantage in life.
  • Your behavior matters and it does make a difference in your happiness level. You can change/improve your happiness level.
  • After working through difficult times, people report feeling more powerful, wiser and confident. Drawing meaning and growth from difficult times helps you feel happier.
  • People that consider themselves happy are not happy all the time. It is ok to have a range of emotions.
  • Having a spiritual connection and finding meaning in life makes people happier.
  • The more meaningful connections to people, animals, activities, etc. you have, the happier you will feel. Try to diversify the things that give you meaning.
  • Doing kind and helpful things for others brings greater happiness to us. Practice random acts of kindness.
  • When you see yourself as a positive person, others will view you this way as well.

Other Steps to Create More Happiness:

  • Write a message to your past self when you were going through a difficult time. Tell that past self that you made it through and remind them of how you have grown.  Doing this will remind you that you will get through current difficult times.
  • Take time each day to shut out some of the external noise and the internal noise in your head, through sitting in silence, meditating, prayer etc. This will allow you to reflect and draw more meaning into your life.
  • Limit how much negativity you expose yourself to, through T.V., internet, other people, etc. Exposure to too much negativity makes us feel as though the whole world is negative.
  • Create positive mantras that you repeat daily, such as: “All will be well.” “This too shall pass.”
  • Try to decrease coming up with hypothetical negative situations. This only heaps on the worry.
  • Focus on what moves you forward.
  • Think about something you are looking forward to and visualize it often. The brain cannot differentiate between imagining something and what is happening now.  It raises our happiness level.
  • Don’t judge yourself for where you are at now. Things are always changing and will always change.

 

Best Foods and Supplements for Depression and Anxiety

Recent scientific research has shown that certain dietary supplements and our diet are directly connected to our mental health.  The health of our gut (good bacteria versus bad bacteria) plays a central role in the quality of our mental health.  Science is showing that inflammation in the body is directly connected to brain disorders like depression, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, ADHD, autism and many other conditions. Having an abundance of good gut bacteria helps reduce inflammation in the body.  For more information about this, read the book Brain Maker by Dr. David Perlmutter.  It is an excellent book and goes into great detail explaining the gut/brain connection and its role in mental health.

Dr. Perlmutter recommends doing the following to dramatically improve the health of your gut and your brain:

  • Eat fermented foods daily, such as: yogurt, keifer, kimchi, sour kraut, kombucha and other fermented foods.
  • Take a high quality probiotic for gut health
  • Take an Omega 3 fish oil supplement containing DHA
  • Take up to 5000 IU’s of vitamin D daily
  • Take a multi vitamin containing all the B vitamins, like B6 and B12
  • Take Tumeric ( also sold as curcumin) 1000 mg per day to fight inflammation
  • Eat coconut oil frequently
  • Eat foods that are prebiotic to help feed good bacteria in the gut such as: onions, garlic, raw asparagus, jicama, garbanzo beans
  • Eat healthy oils and fats found in nuts, fish, olives, avocados and coconuts
  • Limit or eliminate sugar, gluten, processed foods and simple carbohydrates all of which cause inflammation in the body

Creating a thriving environment in your gut will reduce inflammation in your body, thus improving your overall mental health.  Your gut health is also responsible for up to 80% of your immunity, so your physical health will benefit as well.  By improving your gut health you will notice a decrease in illnesses like colds and flus.  What we put into our body does make a dramatic difference in how we feel both physically and mentally.  If you want to feel better, eat better!