Why You Should Mind Your Mental Diet | The Health Sessions

Why You Should Mind Your Mental Diet

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words.
Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.
Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.
Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.
Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

— Chinese proverb

In recent years, we’ve learned to be selective about what we put into our bodies. After all, “we are what we eat”, and the food we consume forms the building blocks of our bodies and health. But how many of us ever stop to think about what we put into our minds every day?

Like the Chinese proverb above explains, we are shaped by our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. When you’re scared, angry, excited or in love, those thoughts and emotions trigger the release of specific neurotransmitters. These chemical messengers tell your body how to respond to the situation at hand – freeze, fight, flight, make love.

Much of the time, your thoughts cause temporary physiological changes, like that rush of dopamine you feel when you score a goal. But when something becomes a mental habit – like constant worrying or practicing gratitude every day – the patterns of neural activity sculpt your brain in more permanent ways. Busy regions in your brain will form new connections, which makes those neurological pathways stronger and more receptive to that specific mix of neurochemicals.

What’s more, what you repeatedly think shapes your deepest beliefs about yourself and the world. Your beliefs steer your actions, and regular actions become the habits that mold your daily life and (in part) your health.

That’s why a thought isn’t just a thought – it has the power to transform your life. 

But your thoughts usually don’t appear out of nowhere. They don’t exist in a vacuum either. Your ideas, intentions, opinions, feelings and worries are sparked by the available input around you. The magazines you’re reading, the articles you’re browsing online and the TV shows you watch every week – they all have an impact on your thought patterns, mood, brain chemistry and corresponding physiological reactions.

And now that we’re bombarded with more information than ever before in history, it’s become even more important to mind your mental diet. But in a world filled with both chocolate bars and brain candy, what does a healthy mental diet look like? How can you nourish your mind with ‘nutrient-rich input’ and consume less empty mental calories’?

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How the Holidays Can Affect Those with Mental Disorders | The Health Sessions

How the Holidays Can Affect Those with Mental Disorders

This is a guest post by Mike Jones from Schiz Life

The holiday season can be challenging for anyone, no matter the reason. But while for most people the biggest struggle this winter will be to decide on what presents to get everyone, for others the holidays can be a personal hell. Coping with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or any other mental disorder during Christmas and New Year’s Eve can be particularly hurtful due to the constant pressure of having to behave in a certain way.

Not So Merry Christmas

Unfortunately, Chrismas is not such a merry time for everyone. According to research published by Randy and Lori A. Sansone in the US National Library of Medicine, the use of emergency psychiatric services decreases during the holidays, only to be followed by a spike in activity shortly after. For people dealing with mental disorders, the holiday season can be an emotionally draining period.

What is more obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression or schizophrenia and love life just don’t seem to mix. The lack of a significant other or tensions in an existing relationship can be more emphasized during the holiday season when you suffer from a mental disorder. And due to this, you may have the tendency to blame your illness more and feel worst. This is normal, and what you can do about it is slowly learn how to cope.

Read more >How the Holidays Can Affect Those with Mental Disorders



How to Cope with Anxiety and Depression During Pregnancy | The Health Sessions

How to Cope with Anxiety and Depression during Pregnancy

This is a guest post by Kristi from IntelligentMother.com.

Pregnancy should be a happy and exciting time in a woman’s life. However, this is not always the case for some women as it can be a time of confusion, fear, stress and even depression. Women with a history of depression may spend the next nine months of their pregnancy trying to feel better.

According to the Scientific World Journal, 70% of pregnant women suffer from anxiety. According to the studies carried out by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 1 in every 4 women at some point during their lifetime has suffered from depression. So, how do you cope with anxiety while pregnant when you have a history of depression?

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Why You Should Ask Yourself “How” Instead of “Why”

  “Why is this happening to me?” “Why can’t I do anything right?”  When something stressful happens to you – you miss your train by seconds, you lose your wallet or your child gets sick on the day of an important meeting – these kind of rhetorical questions tend to pop up in your mind. … Read more >



10 Empowering Quotes to Help You Through Tough Days

10 Empowering Quotes to Help You Through Tough Days | The Health Sessions

 

Life isn’t always a picnic in the park.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you find yourself struggling to make it through the day. And that’s nothing to be ashamed about – frustration, sadness and despair are a natural and inevitable part of life.

But if you could use a little pick-me-up, soak up these words of wisdom from beloved authors and word leaders to help you get through the tough times.

Read more >10 Empowering Quotes to Help You Through Tough Days