How can understanding your body improve your focus and performance?
By Olya Piccirillo
Whether you are rich or poor, successful or struggling with your career, in a relationship or single, mental illness does not discriminate.
You have probably heard that mental illness is on the rise in the United States, but did you know the most common one, anxiety disorder, affects 40 million adults age 18 and older? Also, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 16 million adults in America experience at least one episode of major depression. Worse, the suicide rate of people who suffer from depression is climbing, with one person dying from it every 11 minutes.
Even celebrities who seemed to “have it all”, have taken their own lives after struggling with some form of mental health issues. In the past few years alone, the world lost some amazing talents, like the renowned chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, designer Kate Spade and actor Robin Williams, to name a few.
Everyone feels down or sad from time to time; that’s a part of our life. However, when the sadness becomes a permanent state, and impairs your daily functioning, that is an indication of clinical depression. Mental illness is not a stigma, it’s not something shameful to discuss or should be avoided to reach for help with. And we start seeing a noticeable shift in that perception. If you or anyone you know suffer from depression, please contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline or your primary physician.
Mental illness is a health illness, and just as any other health issues, digestive, hormonal, or other, it needs to be addressed as a part of the complete picture of the body.
So, what are some possible triggers for mental imbalances?
If one of your parents has experienced any type of mental illness, you are more likely to be predisposed to it, too. If someone in your family had a history of alcoholism it may also affect your brain.
GUT AND BRAIN CONNECTION
Your diet can dramatically influence the mood and overall sense of wellbeing. Food intolerances and sensitivities often trigger anxiety and panic attacks. Also, eating too much sugar can lead to “sugar blues” or feeling tired and sad. Read our Food Sensitivities article for more.
In women specifically, hormonal fluctuations of estrogen are known to affect their emotional functioning during all stages `of their menstrual cycles. And stress can rob both, men and women, of so-called “happiness” hormones: endorphins, dopamine and serotonin.
BODY AND BRAIN TOXICITY
Exposure to toxic pathogens like mold, parasites, heavy metals, and chemicals can dramatically change our personality. My clients often notice a significant shift in their emotional state, fewer panic attacks, and alleviated anxiety after completing a recommended body detox, based on the individual program.
You may be low on some of the key nutrients, or not metabolizing your food and supplements efficiently. This can create brain fog, anxiety or sadden change of mood. Increasing your levels of B complex, and taking vitamin D, magnesium and omega-3 may help you to shift your brain into more positive and calm state.
Our brain needs oxygen. Daily exercise improves blood flow, delivering oxygen to the brain. Having an active lifestyle is crucial for brain health and have been shown to help individuals suffering with mental illness.
A FINAL NOTE
I have personally witnessed the struggles with mental issues in my family, and over the years have worked with many clients on improving their mental state and emotional wellbeing. As you can see from my personal story and the testimonials on the website, there is hope, and there are solutions.
Our body is unique, so is our brain. You may be working with a medical doctor, and/or looking for natural ways to boost your mental health. We invite you to explore the alternative options we offer to support your body and mind in an integrative and sustainable way.