Keep Your Brain Healthy And It Will Help Everything
Are there situations in your life that are stressing you out? Are the holidays causing you despair or distress? How many people are you trying to keep happy right now? Or take care of? What about work? Is anything happening in your work life that is concerning? There’s a lot in life we can’t control, and that is anxiety-producing for me and pretty much everyone else I know. Life is hard. The holidays are harder for many. But, there are things you can do to help your body and brain get through this time with as little discomfort as possible.
Focusing on brain health will make you feel better physically and mentally. I recently had to deal with several changes in my life, including loss. Grief is never fun, and as a recovering person, grief is something I have to be vigilant about so I don’t pick up a drink for relief. The first recommendation I was given for managing these tricky months, and the holidays, was to manage my brain health. We have a lot more control over our minds than we think we do. Creating a recovery, or healthy, lifestyle can make all the difference in the world.
How do I know? I’ve done tragedy both ways–without focusing on health and wellness, and with a strong focus on health and wellness. Which way do you think went better?
A Focus On Health And Wellness And Brain Health Will Improve Your Experience
It has been proven over and over that good nutrition, fitness, spirituality, and service will improve your mental health. If you are someone who believes in recovery but isn’t setting yourself up for success in recovery, trust me, I’ve been there and it’s time to pivot. My life and mental health are 100% better when I’m living a healthy lifestyle focused on brain health and wellness. I know how easy it is to get busy with life, a relationship, or whatever seems important, but the only person who can help nurture your physical and mental health is you. It’s up to you to take charge of your brain health.
Define Brain Health, Please
According to McKinseyBrain health includes positive mental health and the full gamut of mental, substance use, and neurological conditions. Good brain health means more than just the absence of disease; it also includes overall cognitive functioning, resilience, and a state of well-being in which individuals feel able to cope with the normal stresses of life, realize their abilities, work productively, and contribute to their communities.
To manage stress, be positive, productive, and feel good your brain needs to be healthy. I’m not judging anyone here because I’ve been guilty of filling my brain with terrible things–drugs, addictive/obsessive thinking that I nurtured, watched and read things that did more harm than good, you get the idea. So, I’ll be the first to admit life is so much more livable and serene when you remove the dirt from your body and brain and only add what’s good for your brain health.
We are in such complicated times, that it’s hard for me to imagine anyone’s brain functioning properly all the time. Turning to drugs and alcohol is an easy fix, but it’s not the healthy way to deal with life. If you have any addictive tendencies, you’re putting yourself in danger. There are a million other unhealthy ways to deal with stress, but aren’t we sick of them? It’s time to get healthy in every way so we can get through this thing called life.
This is why knowing how to care for your brain is so crucial.
Tips To Nurture Brain Health
If we have already determined that physical, mental, and spiritual health are necessary, let’s start there.
Physical Health – It all comes down to diet and exercise. I used to hate both, but today I’ve found healthy foods and many exercises that work for me. They also add to my quality of life. Hiking brings me out into nature, which I love, and also adds to stress relief and a sense of contentment. Cooking more vegetables gets me to the farmers market and looking at new recipes, both connecting me to people and content (I love watching cooking tutorials). Speaking of people, exercise and nutrition goals can also help you find like-minded communities at the gym or market.
Mental Health – My specialty. Where shall we begin? If you need therapy, get therapy. Talking to someone who is there to support you and make you feel better is a wonderful thing. Addiction or relationship issues? I’m in 12-step for all of it. If that’s not your thing – try another recovery route. There are a million, but you can’t be stuck in addiction and have brain health. It doesn’t work. If anxiety and depression are your thing, join my club! I’ve managed mine with medication, therapy/coaching, attention to brain health, and community. Friends are an important part of brain health. Communities of like-minded people have done wonders for people struggling with social anxiety. Make some friends, you can do it, I believe in you.
Spiritual Health – You don’t have to believe in God or follow any religion to have spirituality in your life. Spirituality is the belief in something beyond the self, such as a higher power or a connection to others and the universe. It can offer comfort, relief, and meaning to people’s lives. Being of service to other people can also add a spiritual element to your life. I like to add meditation to this piece, though it can be an incredible asset to mental health too. Meditation will connect you to yourself and your spirit, calming you and rewiring your brain on the way. Meditation has literally helped my brain heal and calm down.
So, to sum it up, if you are worried about your stress, anxiety, depression, addiction issues, family, work or anything else, time to focus on your brain health. Do some research to find things that will work for you, but take the focus off other people and put it on yourself and how you can work on your own development and peace.
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