Mental health

From sleep hygiene to stress management

All biological damage to the body that has occurred during the day can be repaired only during night with a good sleep (7-8h), so you have to sleep enough to repair your body. Schedule your sleep as you would for your important meeting and protect this period of time (anything should disturb you, like noise or light). The body metabolizes a lot of waste products after 10 p.m. and the immune system revitalizes itself between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., so it’s very important to sleep during these hours. Do NOT underestimate the value of sleep. It’s more important than what you do during the day. Clean up your diet, reduce the inflammation of the body and the quality of your sleep will improve.

One other important area to master is your stress. Chronic stress is very harmful to our health, so stress generated during the day should be released and the most impostante causes of stress eliminated as soon as possible. This could be done by changing one’s misbehaviors. It’s very important to be able to reduce stress to maintain a good mental health. The advice given by Dr. Perlmutter in his books are to maintain a strong social network (mostly offline), to get out into nature as much as possible, to plan personal downtime/rest-time, be thankful for the things you live (have a gratitude journal/note, writing down the things occurred during the day for which you feel thankful, the best is right before bedtime). The more grateful we feel, the more resilient (physically, emotionally, spiritually) the brain becomes.

The most relevant factors for stress are related to:
– success – self-assertion through performance;
– popularity – harmony and acceptance by a social group first;
– autonomy – maintaining independence, not showing weak points;
– control – the fear of losing one’s confidence;
– overcoming one’s own limits – I can’t do it.
Test stress on the link (in Italian).

Health and social network are strong connected. To meet friends is a big opportunity to check in with each other, exchange ideas, and perhaps lend a supportive ear or shoulder. Take time for social relationships. Strengthening yours is very important for your health, for more read here (Harvard Medical School). This aspect is often neglected or is missing, for example because of  COVID-19 or others issues, but remain still very important for the maintenance of health. I suggest you to meet friends using digital technologies (like Facebook, FaceTime, Whatsapp, Skype and so on).

The first moments after waking up are decisive for your well-being throughout the rest of the day. You must have a healthy morning ritual with meditation and/or breathing. Doing the “mindful morning session” before breakfast with a clear, rested mind is more effective then during evening. It takes just a few minutes (min.5′), letting your thoughts flow through it. For beginners should be a guided meditation with a relaxing sound. If you are a woman, I recommend the audiobook by Miranda Gray, Red Moon (in English).

Getting out in nature for just a walk is a super healthy practice. There is a scientific evidence that nature exposure (named forest bathing in Japan) have health benefits, including lower blood pressure, pulse rate, salivary cortisol level, and better heart rate variability. Here at this link you can read the Shinrin-yoku study for forest bathing.  ⚠️ consider social distancing and the directives issued by your government during this coronavirus pandemic. I personally put the mini trampoline in front of a window overlooking the garden…

Another area that might help is to have a growth mindset… what this powerful mindset consist of?

    1. See the obstacles on your path as challenges to learn something new and be able to find the solution to overcome the obstacle;
    2. Persist and never give up;
    3. See the efforts in it as opportunities;
    4. Learn from criticism;
    5. Find lessons and inspirations in the sucess of others;

Try to have a growth mindset (open to learn and accept new challenge), changing the fixed mindset (closed to new challenges, need to feel perfect, talented, smart).

For changing your mindset from a fixed one to a growth one, start by avoiding extreme jugements and be more reasonable. 

How? List the evidences of for&against your conclusion. You will see more positivity and find out a step to go forward (the right solution).

In front of every obstacle, ask yourself what it’s necessary to improve…, wondering what to do to overcome it… create a growth-mind plan, with goal and steps to achieve it.

In general, the more you challenge your mind to learn, the more your brain cells grow! The more you try, the more you brain works.

IMG_5195.jpeg

Source of this picture is https://www.mindsetworks.com/Science/Impact

Scientific sources for a growth-mindset: Carol S. Dweck, Ph. D., Mindset: the new psychology of success, 2007, here the link of the book or for more information visit www.mindsetworks.com.

⚠️ Avoid Do It Yourself (DIY) and consult a psychotherapist

Love quotes

And what about it? Love is, of all passions, the strongest, the powerful emotion that ”move mountains”… find here my best quotes:

“Friendship is a form of love, and love makes our lives worth living.”

“The greater the love we manifest, the greater the love we will receive.”

“Love makes us better, both in the family and in the society in which we live.”

“Love must be strengthened every day!”

Feel free to send me your quote on love (e.g. in the contact form). And here are some more quotes about love from famous people:

“A simple I LOVE YOU means more than money” (Frank Sinatra)

“You always gain by GIVING love” (Reese Witherspoon)

“All that you are is all that I’ll ever need” (Ed  Sheeran)

“Love recognizes no barriers” (Maya Angelou)

“The hearts has its reasons of which reason knows nothing” (Blaise Pascal)

Some scientific sources:

    • Happy People Live Longer (Bruno S. Frey. 2011 Science 331:542);
    • Healthy happiness: effects of happiness on physical health and the consequences for preventive health care (Veenhoven R et al., 2008 HappinessStud. 9:449);

Brain foods

Foods boosting your mental health are those rich in antioxidants that neutralize free radicals (toxic for the brain). Food boosting your brain are all vegetables, notably apples, blueberries, pomegranate, walnuts, spices, garlic, green tea, mint aroma, lavender, rose, geranium, rosemary, basil. Source: Paul L. Green, Brain Power (2015). The most recommended food for the health of our brain is sprouts (for more read a book of Angelika Fürstler or visit www.sprossensamen.ch) .

 

 

Disclaimer: This text is only for illustration purposes and does not replace your doctor’s opinion. It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Absolutely avoid DIY (do-it-yourself) and get medical attention.

 

Last update 20.10.2020