Focus on diet and exercise to lift your mood

Focusing on your diet and exercise routines keeps you and your mind healthier and happier. The following methods will not only make you feel better physically but mentally.

We all have been there. We reach for that bag of chips or “just a small bowl” of ice-cream when we are feeling upset emotionally. “The link between emotions and eating is no myth. People do eat to feel better. So, the link is there,” says Sherry L. Pagoto, PhD, associate professor of preventive and behavioral medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.

By neglecting our mental health, we disregard our physical health. One study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%.

Alarm Clock

Depression often causes us to sleep longer hours. Not only is this unhealthy for the body but is unhealthy for the mind. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults (18-64 years old), get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. This factoring in the occasional “sleeping in.”

By getting up at the same time each day, the mind has a chance to sort through any last dreams and begin the day. Once your up, start the first exercise, make the bed. Admiral William H. McRaven, U.S. Navy Retired, quoted, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed…you will have accomplished the first task of the day.”

Follow this up with a healthy breakfast. It is not necessary to have a full cooked breakfast to level your mood, especially if that is not in your schedule. Here are some healthy, high natural energy alternatives for people on the go:

· Greek Yogurt

· Fresh Fruit

· Cottage Cheese

· Nuts or nut butters

· Avocados

· Whole grains

To simply your morning schedule, remember to pack your “breakfast” the night before. This not only saves time but takes away any potential frustrations on your way out the door. Instead, use these saved few minutes to double check yourself. This also allows your mind to go out into the day with a level mood.

Afternoon Slump

This is the time of day where we just “run out of fuel.” Our bodies and most often our mental facilities react by being short tempered or sleepy. That means it is time for a break.

Anxiety and depressive disorders cost more than a trillion dollars globally in lost productivity each year. Go for a 15-minute walk. This can also look like doing a chore for those that work from home.

The idea is to get the body moving. If we distract our minds with activities that do not require a lot of forethought, we have the chance to sort through the information and reset our moods.

This is also a good time for a snack. Keep snacks that require your hands (keep them busy).

· Apple slices with peanut butter

· Celery sticks

· Red bell peppers with guacamole

· Kale chips

If you want something to drink, always opt for water first, but a cup of decaf tea is also acceptable. By providing our bodies with nutritional food, we stay in better and more fruitful productivity.

After Dinner

When our moods are altered, we tend to have cravings. For many of us, that is how we justify eating dessert. In 2011, The industry report, claimed that baked goods producers claimed 33 billion dollars in revenue.

Instead of reaching for the Oreo’s, try reaching for other alternative sweets.

· Frozen yogurt (with or without fresh fruit)

· Rice cakes with peanut butter

· Watermelon

· Popcorn (no butter)

· Sugar free gum

When you feel full, go do some physical activity. While taking a short walk is best, just lifting hand weights can be beneficial. By making the body tired with exercise and food, this allows for the mind to rest easier.

In conclusion

Feeling constantly low is very taxing on your mind and your body. What is important to remember is make yourself number one on your priority list. By eating healthier food and engaging in small breaks of exercise, creates a calmer disposition and a more approachable aura.