Mental health isn’t always the easiest topic to discuss. For some, it’s touchy. For others, it’s awkward. For many it’s private and for a few it’s offensive.

So, similar to any blog dealing with mental health, Your Body, Your Mind has had its fair share of positive and negative comments since its launch last month.

I’ve noticed a common theme among most of the negative comments, and that’s a theme of guilt. It seems some readers believe if they don’t work out or eat right, they should feel guilty; if they don’t feel any better after working out or adopting a healthier diet, they’ve failed.

I wish this weren’t the case.

What I want for Your Body, Your Mind readers is an understanding that for many, a positive focus on the physical – whether it be jogging five days a week or cutting sweets from a diet or getting rid of dangerous belly fat – can provide a positive outcome for the mental, too.

Neither Jessica nor I will ever post an article on this blog with the intention of making any reader feel guilty, pressured, or inadequate.

Below is a small collection of information about exercise, diet, and mental health from various health-oriented organizations. Please take some time to read the information and determine whether the topics are right for you.

  • The Influence of Exercise On Mental Health: This article discuss reduced anxiety and depression as well as variables like moods, self-esteem, and sleep.
  • Depression and Anxiety: Exercise Eases Symptoms: From the Mayo Clinic, this article covers everything from exercises releasing “feel-good chemicals” in the brain to using exercise as a way to boost confidence and social interaction.
  • Exercise for Mental Health: Learn about how exercise can improve sleep, build endurance, and even increase your interest in sex.
  • Mental Illness and Exercise: The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) provides information on how to stay motivated, exercise on a budget, and fit in daily workouts. You can even get a goal-setting worksheet and a sample exercise journal.
  • SAMHSA Resources: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a list of resources for learning about how exercise and diet affects your mental health and how you can use the two to work for you.
  • Diet and Mental Health: The UK’s Mental Health Foundation explains that diet can be just as important to mental health as it is to reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other physical health problems.
  • Nutrition and Mental Health: The Royal College of Psychiatrists digs deep with this one, explaining everything from carbs, fats, and proteins to which diets are best for specific mental illnesses like schizophrenia and mood disorders.

If you have any other resources, please feel free to share them in the comments!

Image Credit | CC