Brooke Randolph, LMHC is the newest expert contributor at DietsInReview.com. Learn more about Brooke, and look for her articles every Monday.
As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, I am passionate about helping people improve their lives in the ways that are most meaningful to them. Many find it interesting that some of the first strategies I employ to assist my clients in fighting some of the most common mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety, include working on physical energy habits, such as nutrition, sleep, and exercise. Our physical health and mental health are entwined. In “The Power of Full Engagment,” Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz identify four key life areas that interplay (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) with their energy pyramid. Most people intuitively understand that when grieving it is difficult to concentrate on work, that bad news seems more difficult to handle at the end of a long day, and that sitting in a meeting with a difficult client can leave one exhausted without ever rising from the chair.
I have been presented with clients diagnosed with major depressive disorders that no longer feel they need to continue therapy once we have improved physical energy by reintegrating the daily habits of exercise and a healthy breakfast. For those experiencing anxiety, it is most helpful to allow your body to practice recovering from the stress/adrenaline response with regular cardiovascular exercise.
Next Monday, tune in to learn how physical health and mental health also can have a negative relationship.
September 2nd, 2008