Regardless of how much medical technology has developed or how much information we have on ourselves, the human mind remains a giant puzzle. It is an enigma we know very little about.
Nevertheless, if there is one thing science has taught us is that our mental well-being is inextricably linked with our physical state. In essence, if our bodies are fit and healthy, chances are so will our minds.
Of course, there are instances when the brain deteriorates on its own, irrespective of what we do. Examples include degenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. But that is not the case in most situations.
As we keep that in mind, let us look at three ways how taking care of our bodies will have wonderful effects on our minds.
The Value of Sleep
You have to sleep. There are no two ways around it. Whether you do it for five hours, six hours, or eight, the human body was not designed to spend long periods of time without shutting down. And neither was the brain. It is a simple scientific fact that cannot be avoided, altered, or ignored.
Yet, many of us think we can work hours on end, lay on the couch for 30 minutes, and then go right back to it. We believe hard work to be a matter of effort, determination, and mental strength.
And while there are indeed examples of men and women who have stayed awake for three consecutive days in the wilderness or during a war, that doesn’t mean it is what we should do. They did it because they had to survive.
If you want your mind to be where it needs to be, start with your body. Look into sleep solutions to keep you comfortable and cool while you rest and maximize the time you have to recover. And be mindful of your environment. Make sure it is dark, quiet and, at least for a few hours a day, your phone is nowhere to be seen.
Food for Thought
If you want to live a long, fruitful life, you need to give your body the fuel it needs. Stopping by McDonald’s every day or ordering a pizza whenever you feel blue will not help you achieve this.
Naturally, comfort food is called comfort food for a reason. The last thing you want after a long day at the office or following an argument with your significant other is to boil some broccoli, cut a piece of chicken breast, and prepare yourself a healthy salad. There are times in our lives when we need to relax, let go of our troubles, and indulge.
Still, when it comes to mental health issues like anxiety and stress, eating garbage is not the most highly recommended thing to do. As studies show, sodas, alcohol, and desserts like donuts or ice cream can actually increase your level of uneasiness and make you prone to depression.
Instead of doing that, why not bake a piece of salmon, add a few mushrooms or tomatoes, and finish it off with a hint of balsamic vinaigrette or avocado lime? Along with being delicious, it is affordable, easy to make, and great for your state of mind.
Keep It Moving
Pretty much everybody has heard of endorphins. But few people know what they are. In Layman’s terms, they are hormones stored in the pituitary glands of both human beings and animals. When your body feels pleasure or an inner sense of well-being, they are released into your system, making you happy.
For animals, this often happens when hunting. For instance, a lioness will release endorphins while chasing, capturing, and eating its prey. No wonder lions and other predators sleep so well and for so long after a good meal.
In people, arguably the best way to achieve this is through exercise. Ideally, you would wake up early in the morning, put on a pair of shorts, go out for a jog, come back, stretch, and take a shower. Or you could walk to a nearby gym with access to a pool and swim a few laps.
But, as we all know, the ideal is not the same as reality, especially in times of the covid-19 global pandemic. With quarantines still in place, many of us cannot go out. And if we do, we have to put on a mask.
Yet, there are still things we can do to stay physically active. Things that will have a great effect on how we feel inside.
If you want to be less stressed and anxious, sleep well, eat well, and do exercise. These are three simple things we can all do for the betterment of our bodies and, most importantly, our minds.