Mental health is an all-year thing, not just one week

My column in the Jersey Evening Post – summary:

– Mental health problems go on all year, not just in Mental Health Awareness Week

– Social isolation and poor diet play a big part in poor mental health; I include a few explanations and suggestions

– If, despite knowing what is bad for you, you keep eating cr*p, you need to ask why (and hypnotherapy can help discover the reasons and help turn this around)

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Last week saw Mental Health Awareness Week, but mental health is something we need to be aware of all year, especially during these Coronavirus months.

People who are socially isolated either physically or because they feel lonely and/or rejected, are more likely to fall ill and are less likely to fully recover.

This is because social-environmental conditions, including how we feel about them, can switch some health genes off.

Regaining social inclusion can help turn the right genes back on.

Although we are still physically distancing, we have opportunities to connect through taking walks with others (keeping apart) and chatting via online platforms such as WhatsApp and Zoom.

For some, those options are not available; if you know someone in this situation, please pick up the phone and call them.

You could make more difference to their health than you imagine.

Good physical health also improves mental health outcomes. Search on YouTube for ‘exercise during lockdown’ for some great ideas for all levels of ability and fitness. You don’t have to ‘exercise’; even housework helps.

Diet-wise, eat real, naturally fatty foods, avoid snacking and keep your eating window to 10 hours or less.

Why? Eating often and having a diet rich in processed foods both contribute to insulin resistance, fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, arthritis, gout, high blood pressure and more!

The sugars glucose and fructose, fine in small quantities, are toxic at higher levels. Found in abundance in processed foods, they pose a danger, so your liver makes them into ‘safe’ fat, which is transported and stored under your skin. So far, so good.

But if you often snack on crisps and biscuits, and drink lots of colas, juices and alcohol, your system can’t keep up; this results in fat being stored around your middle, causing physical and mental health problems.

And if you still keep up the onslaught, finally fat is stored inside organs, causing even more health issues.

In addition, a poor diet denies your body of essential amino acids and depletes the gut bacteria that are responsible for making most of your ‘happy hormones’, contributing further to poor mental health.

If, after knowing this, you still ‘want’ to eat bad foods, ask why? It could be physical sugar addiction (which can be broken) or something deeper. If you can’t consciously work out why, hypnosis can help discover, and get rid of, the causes.

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Jacqui Carrel treats people for addictions and depression. You can contact her on Messenger or via her website, jacquicarrel .co .uk

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