Boost your mood in 3 weeks
I work as a psychologist. So, of course I recommend a lot of psychological techniques to clients to help them boost their productivity, skills, job prospects, and emotional wellbeing. However, there are some things that can affect the mind and our wellbeing that do not require mental methods.
A recent study set out to reduce symptoms of depression in only 3 weeks. Researchers randomly assigned young adults (aged between 17 to 35) to one of two groups. The first, control group continued to eat normally. The second, experimental group was given specific instructions to eat more fish, olive oil, fruit and vegetables – while at the same time cutting down on the amount of processed food they ate.
At the end of the three weeks, the people who changed their diets reported a measurable improvement in their mood – they reported a significant drop in their depression scores. Those who changed their eating habits reported lower anxiety scores, too.
Three months later, the authors got in touch with all of the participants again. Unfortunately, only 21 per cent of the participants who changed their diets were maintaining their new, healthier eating patterns – but these participants continued to exhibit improved moods.
The authors concluded that: “Modifying diet to reduce processed food intake and increase consumption of fruit, vegetables, fish and olive oil improved depression symptoms” in these young adults. It really is a case that a healthy body helps to feed a healthy mind.
So, there you go. I run a lot of workshops and webinars for corporate clients on how to protect their mental health and productivity during times of change and turmoil. And one of the points I make is that looking after physical health (through healthier eating, physical exercise, and other methods) is just as important as learning mental techniques for boosting both wellbeing and work performance.
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