Believe it or not, there are foods and herbs that can improve your mental health and well-being. Whether you have anxiety or depression, nature has the answer for you. There are plant medicines you can find at your local grocery store or even grow in your own backyard that have scientifically proven benefits for both your physical and mental health. There are other natural methods to improve your mental health without jumping to alternatives that are not natural. Follow along to learn the secrets behind healing using nature and scientific research.
Using Food To Heal
Be Whole, Eat Whole
The 80/20 rule emphasizes that 80% of your diet should focus on whole foods that contain fiber. For example, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and protein. The remaining 20% of what you eat can have more flexibility. You don’t want to restrict your diet too much, so you’re not having any of the foods you enjoyed before, but reducing the amount of processed food is what matters.
The Greener, The Better
Not only are greens good for the body, but they are also exceptional for the mind too. Leafy greens include spinach, arugula, romaine, and collard greens. You should eat between 4-6 cups a day if you can. Greens like this contain folate, which is an important vitamin that maintains the function of our neurotransmitters. Its consumption is linked to a decrease in depression symptoms while also improving cognition.
Tap Into your Own Body’s Intelligence
If you feel lethargic, terrible, or ready for a nap after eating a certain food, don’t disregard the feeling. Your body is telling you something and you should listen to it. Mindfulness and the ability to acknowledge how something makes you feel is critical to connecting your mental health to your foods. The food you eat should make you feel good and energized, not the other way around.
Other Natural Ways To Boost Mental Health
Go To Therapy
Therapy is one of the most natural ways to cope with depression, anxiety, or other mental health symptoms. Leaning on a licensed professional is never a bad idea. Like other things in life, finding the right therapist or treatment type may take some trial and error. For example, many people ask, “what is TMS for depression?” TMS is an example of a therapy that is not as well-known as others but can treat symptoms that don’t seem to be away with other remedies. On the other hand, other options like hypnotherapy, traditional therapy, or EDMR are all options that can be explored for mental health improvement.
The connection between writing and emotion can be profound. Having an outlet like a journal can be impactful if you are suffering from mental illness. The best part of keeping a journal is you don’t have to share it with anyone and you can process all the emotions and thoughts that come to mind first. Often, it makes it easier for you to organize your feelings into one compact place so it allows you to translate things a little better. It can also just help in general with your healing journal because some days you just won’t feel good, while other times you may be having a really good day.
There are scientific studies everywhere that support the act of meditating consistently for anxiety and stress. The act of sitting still and giving your body the time to relax and come to a place of complete stillness has positive effects on your mental health. It is also important to note the idea of mindfulness in general, where you are more consistent about focusing on the present moment rather than fixating on the past or future. This can help you come back to that state of being so you don’t begin to get anxious.
Get In Nature
Spending some time away from the city lights is typically helpful for the mind. Even just spending 20 minutes in the sun around beautiful flowers or within some trees has profound benefits on your mental state and mood! The process of grounding is where you electrically reconnect with the earth by walking barefoot or even swimming or standing on sand. Doing this can have positive effects on your body based on physics!