7 Steps for Positive Mental Health

Step 1 – Food to support your Mood. What we eat affects how we feel. Eating healthy makes us feel healthy. A key nutrient is tryptophan – which is an essential amino acid that goes on to make serotonin. Since our bodies can’t make tryptophan, we need to get it from our diet. Include these foods to ensure you are supplying your body with this important nutrient: cottage cheese, turkey, tuna, salmon (wild), cashews, halibut, shrimp, oatmeal flakes, avocado, wheat germ, eggs, collards, spinach, raisins, yogurt, chicken, sweet potato.

Step 2 – Get moving. It has been said that the “most overutilized prescription for depression and anxiety is pharmaceuticals and the most underutilized is exercise”. Exercise releases chemicals in your brain that help improve your mood. A key to exercise is to make it fun. Here is a list of ideas: walking, tennis, squash, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing, biking, hiking, dancing, yoga, basketball, volleyball, skating. Try something!!

Step 3 – Be yourself. How you feel about yourself can play a big part in your mental well-being. You are unique. Write out three things you like about yourself and remind yourself every hour of your positive qualities.

Step 4 – Laughter. This may sound simple, but laughter is a great way to combat stress. Do something silly. Watch a sitcom or funny movie like “Something about Mary”.

Step 5 – Give gratitude. Giving thanks builds stronger relationships and helps make you feel more positive. Everyday, write down three things you are grateful for. I will help you get started: a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes on your back.

Step 6 – Get your groove on. Music has the ability to change our moods and can help pick us up when we’re feeling down. Tune in daily to a song that puts a skip in your step. Dance along. This 3-min break is a great pick me up.

Step 7 – Do something good. Giving is receiving. Showing kindness improves your mood and connects you to others. Is there a random act of kindness that you can do for someone else? Here are a few suggestions: shovel your neighbors front walk, hold the door for the person behind you, call a friend you haven’t spoken to for awhile.

To guide you on the road to mental wellness call 587-521-3595 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Christina Bjorndal or Dr. Candace Haarsma.

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