Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “a healthy body ensures a healthy mind”?
Sensible people understand the importance of creating daily and weekly rituals that ideally support them to work, rest and play in a balanced way.
The psychology of improving health and happiness can be simply explained by looking at the pyramid model (below). This pyramid-based health and wellness approach, identifies in a concrete visual way, the four key building blocks upon which to base our personal rituals.
Building a Healthy Body
The types of food we eat and the level of essential vitamins and minerals we ingest through consistently selecting the right food sources, has a direct effect on our intellectual and emotional capabilities.
For example, if a person is deficient in key vitamins such as magnesium, zinc, and fish oil, they will potentially struggle to maintain consistently high levels of happiness and find instead they can be more likely to fluctuate into bouts of increased irritation, emotional distress and anxiety.
The importance to our mental wellbeing in gaining the right nutritional fuel for our bodies, is so fundamental that I include “Food Coaching” as part of my personalised services to interested selected clients.
Based on the pyramid approach, I provide health and wellness psychological consultations, focusing on nutrition, stress management, goal setting and work-life balance.
Increasingly in working to assist clients find the best of mental health, I like to invite people to commit to the physical health and vitality benefits of learning to choose a better diet.
However, some of us are less aware of how much the psychological happiness, stability of moods and positive motivational aspects of our lives are shaped, by the types of foods we regularly choose to digest.
We are lucky to live in Queensland, where we have a fantastic variety most of the year of both fruits and vegetables.
Learn More About Food
Fruits and vegetables start to lose nutrients immediately after they are harvested, so the freshest produce is the best produce. It also tastes better and is better for the environment.
So it makes sense to shop for in-season foods for you and your family. Of course the other benefit is that it will be cheaper when in season. We have all seen the prices of fruit and vegetables fluctuate throughout the year, so buying when bountiful will give you the freshest, tastiest, most nutritious produce – AND leave you with money in your pocket.
It is often quicker too – if you are in the supermarket you will notice that most “specials” (in season) are grouped together at the front of the store.
Frozen or Fresh?
Did you know that frozen peas will often have a higher nutritional value, than the fresh peas in the supermarket? Frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as helpful in your quest to develop a healthy body, and a healthy mind!
When shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables, ask questions like:
- Where has the produce come from?
- Is it local?
- How far has it travelled to be in store?
Remember, farmers markets are a great shopping alternative as produce is picked fresh by the farmer and sold directly to the consumer (no sitting on the supermarket shelves for days, after all the time spent travelling first to the warehouse, then to the store).
If you would like to find out more, or would like support in your quest to develop a healthy body AND a healthy mind, I welcome you to make an appointment with me.
Author: Peter Doyle, B Psych (Hons), MAPS, MCCOUNP, MCOP.
Peter is endorsed both as a Counselling Psychologist and Organisational Psychologist and has over 25 years’ experience in clinical, counselling and workplace settings, helping clients with a diverse range of personal, lifestyle and psychological wellbeing issues.
Peter is currently not practicing at M1 Psychology, find his details on his website: Guidelight Psychology.