MENTAL HEALTH

Mental Health vs Brain Health: Understanding the Connection | The man of many

Have you ever felt like crap and don’t know why? Chances are you haven’t been taking care of your brain health. The term literally refers to how healthy your brain is, taking into account cognitive abilities, emotional well-being, and physical health. So if you’ve been struggling, it might be time to ask yourself: how are you treating your brain?

An often overlooked component of overall well-being, brain health is about more than just mental health. Think about brain health as the computer hardwarewhile ours mental health and the Software. We can’t have amazing software without amazing hardware.

I recently sat down with psychotherapist, writer and researcher Sara Kuburic, otherwise known as a Millennial Therapist, to discuss the connection between mental health and brain health. Here is the I offer the author revealed four ways to improve that hardware.

Psychotherapist, writer and researcher Sara Kuburic |  Image: Sara Kuburic

Psychotherapist, writer and researcher Sara Kuburic | Image: Sara Kuburic

1. Sleep

One of the most important things you can do for your brain and mental health is get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is a regular pattern that most of us are guilty of falling into. Think about the last time you were commended for performing after a lack of sleep—that badge of honor may seem cute in the moment, but it can have long-term effects.

Sleep deprivation and mental illness have a strong correlation, which is why sometimes our moods can plummet and we can fall into a negative mental spiral. Sara Kuburic recommends that most people would benefit from a minimum of 7 hours of sleep, 7-9 often being the favorable range, depending on age, job and stress levels.

Image: Luke Chesser

Image: Luke Chesser

2. Exercise

Not only does it make you look good, but exercise is essential for you to feel fit and healthy. Sitting at a desk for 50 hours a week negatively impacts our mind and brain health due to less oxygen getting to the brain. When we talk about exercise, this doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym every day; instead, being consistently active and moving your body for 30-60 minutes every day is the foundation for a healthy brain.

Some activities could be: walking, jogging or swimming. You can do heavy cardio, but essentially you just have to move your body every day. To be successful at this, you need to rewire your thoughts from exercise to look a certain way at exercise because it’s healthy for your mind.

Image: Jason Briscoe

Image: Jason Briscoe

3. Diet

People often look at food and diet with the mindset of how I want my body to look or what tastes good, which makes sense. What you feed your body also feeds your brain. Kuburic uses the analogy that if you put diesel in a car, which doesn’t take diesel but instead gasoline, you’re going to be in trouble. This is the same thing with food.

If we were a little less focused on how it would shape our muscles or help us reduce our pant size and more focused on the idea of ​​how I’m feeding my brain, it would have an impact.

So what should we and shouldn’t we eat? Sara highlighted insights into two harmful substances that most people consume on a daily basis. Current studies are exploring the similarities between sugar and cocaine and the brain’s reward processing. Another downside is the coffee; when consumed too much, it can be very harmful as coffee increases cortisol, which is the stress hormone, and this can make you start your day feeling super anxious and wondering, what’s going on?

Image: Aaron Owens

Image: Aaron Owens

4. Stay mentally active

We usually come home from work exhausted and want to do nothing but sit in front of the TV. While it can be great as a stress-busting tactic, it can take a toll on your brain health since you’re not mentally active. Kuburic explains that it’s important to treat our brain like a muscle, just like you train your body, you also need to train your mind. By allowing yourself to learn something new each week, you can improve your memory and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s.

Some ways to stay mentally active are reading, puzzles like Sudoku or Wordle, and any other activity that really gets your brain thinking and challenging you.

Image: Nathan Dumlao

Image: Nathan Dumlao

Where does the therapy fit in?

Our mental health and brain health are intertwined. Therapy can be used to help with mental health and is most effective once you’ve addressed it in tandem with caring for your brain health. That said, it’s important to do both consistently, so once you have a healthy brain, you can learn strategies and live the best life possible.

Brain health won’t always help you deal with your struggles, but it will put you in the best position to craft the new strategies you learn and achieve your goals. Sara makes people ask themselves, how do you present yourself to the world? Who do you want to become? How can you change your habits and behaviors?

How do I start to change?

So, how do you start implementing these strategies? One small way to repair your brain health is to focus on one of four areas of interest, the one that is your top priority. From there, you can continue adding others, but take your time and don’t overwhelm yourself. Set small goals that you can follow to help you achieve this goal.

About the author: Harrison Kennedy is an Australia-based international fashion model and co-founder of Really Mental, a podcast focusing on mental health and identity. From its inception, Really Mental has featured conversations with young and influential guests who live in the spotlight, including Radhi Shetty, Lauv, Lexi Jayde, Johnny Orlando, JP Saxe, Chelsea Cutler and Nicole McLaughlin. Harrison’s passion for mental health stems from his personal experiences in the creative industry mixed with his struggles with anxiety and loneliness.

Harrison Kennedy

Collaborator

Mr Harrison Kennedy

Harrison Kennedy is an international fashion model based in Australia. He has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world including Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, RIMOWA, Gucci, Boss, Giorgio Armani and others.

In 2022, following his experiences in the industry, Harrison launched Really Mental, a podcast focusing on mental health and identity. From its inception, Really Mental has featured conversations with young and influential guests who live in the spotlight, including Radhi Shetty, Lauv, Lexi Jayde, Johnny Orlando, JP Saxe, Chelsea Cutler and Nicole McLaughlin. Harrison’s passion for mental health stems from his personal experiences in the creative industry mixed with his struggles with anxiety and loneliness. He hopes that by having open and honest conversations like these, he can help other young people know that, whatever they’re going through, they’re not alone.

Read more about Harrison About Man of Many


#Mental #Health #Brain #Health #Understanding #Connection #man

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