Hey readers, and welcome to PsychCentral.com’s newest blog, Your Body, Your Mind!

My name is Alicia Sparks, and some of you might already be familiar with me thanks to Dr. Grohol’s introduction or through Celebrity Psychings, the blog I’ve been writing for Psych Central since 2008.

Rather than just dive right in, I thought it’d be nice to help you all understand how Your Body, Your Mind came to be, the kinds of topics I plan to cover, and ask you what you’d like to see on the blog.

I first thought of creating a blog about how physical activity affects overall mental wellness when I first learned about In SHAPE, the Self Help Action Plan of Empowerment. In SHAPE is a New Hampshire fitness program for mentally ill adults. Created in 2003, In SHAPE currently helps 150 people use exercise and diet to manage and recover from mental and emotional illness. The state recently won a $10 million grant to help increase that number to 4,500 participants in the next five years. The Huffington Post highlights the story of Craig Carey, one of In SHAPE’s first participants.

So, it’s no secret that diet, exercise, and other wellness measures like acupuncture and massage therapy can help when it comes to balancing and maintaining mental wellness.

What I’d like to cover with Your Body, You Mind includes:

  • News and research related to diet, exercise, and mental health.
  • Stories from people currently incorporating diet and exercise in their mental health regime.
  • Interviews with professionals in areas of mental health and fitness.
  • Information about how different kinds of physical activities can provide different mental health benefits.
  • Fun stuff like challenges, drawings, and polls to really get you all involved!

Fortunately, we’ll also hear from PsychCentral.com’s blog editor, Jessica Digiacinto from time to time. Jessica lives a gluten-free lifestyle and has experience she’d like to share related to that as well as vitamins and supplements, recipes, and products she’s found useful.

Now, I’d like to know what YOU’D like to see at Your Body, Your Mind. Do you have experience with a certain exercise or program that’s helped you manage depression? Work through anxiety symptoms? Overcome agoraphobia? What about diet? Has cutting certain unhealthy foods from your menu improved your mood? Have you gone gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan and seen a significant difference in your mental well being?

Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit | CC