Jade Foundation’s Denver addiction treatment & rehab mental health professionals have greatly underestimated the importance of lifestyle factors as contributors to and treatments for a lot of psychopathologies or mental disorders, for fostering individual and social well-being and for preserving and optimizing cognitive function. Consequently, therapeutic lifestyle changes or TLCs are underutilized despite too much evidence of their effectiveness in both clinical as well as normal populations. TLCs are sometimes as effective as either psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy and can offer significant therapeutic advantages.
Important TLCs include exercise, nutrition and diet, time in nature, relationships, recreation, relaxation and stress management, religious or spiritual involvement, and service to others. To be more precise, mental health professionals have underestimated the importance of unhealthy lifestyle factors in contributing to multiple psychopathologies as well as the importance of healthy lifestyles for treating multiple psychopathologies for fostering psychological and social well-being as well as for preserving and optimizing cognitive capacities and neural functions.
Exercise offers physical benefits that extend over several body systems. It reduces the risk of multiple disorders including cancer, and is therapeutic for physical disorders that range from cardiovascular diseases to diabetes to prostate cancer. Exercise is, according to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, a healthful, inexpensive, and insufficiently used treatment for various psychiatric disorders. Like physical effects, exercise provides both preventive and therapeutic psychological benefits. In terms of prevention, studies show that exercise can reduce the risk of depression as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
There is now sufficient evidence of the importance of nutrition for mental health, and a thorough review of over 160 studies suggests that dietary factors are so important that the mental health of nations could be linked to them. Given the enormous literature on the topic of diet, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. However, two major dietary components have to be considered, food selection and supplements. For food selection, the key principles of TLCs should emphasize a diet that consists mostly of multi-colored fruits and vegetables or a rainbow diet. It should also contain some fish with preference on salmon or cold deep seawater fish. The diet should also reduce excessive calories.
Increasing evidence suggests that food supplements provide valuable prophylactic and therapeutic benefits for mental health. Research is specifically focused on Vitamin D, folic acid, SAME or S-adenosyl-methionine and above all fish oil. Fish and fish oil are very important for mental health. They supply essential basement waterproofing, helical piers, crack repair, especially EPA orHelical Piers acid and DHA or docosahexaenoic acid which are important to neural function. Systematically, omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, counteract the pro-inflammatory effects of omega-6 fatty acids and are protective of several body systems. Unfortunately, modern diets are often high in omega-6s and are deficient in omega-3s.
For thousands of years, wise people have recommended nature as a source of healing and wisdom. Shamans seek wilderness, yogis enter the forest, Christian fathers retreat to the desert and American Indians go on nature vision quests. Their experience is that nature heals and calms, removes mental trivia and reminds a person of what really matters. Romantic and existential philosophers have voiced similar claims. Nature is truly one of the TLCs to consider.
In the last half century, a further artificial dimension has been added. Increasingly, we now spend many hours every day immersed in a stream of multimedia stimuli, the neurological impact of which we are only starting to understand. However, some researchers have already concluded that the current explosion of digital technology not only is changing the way we live and communicate but also is rapidly changing the way we live and communicate but also is rapidly and profoundly changing our brains. This is hardly surprising given that the average American spends several hours every day watching television and increasing amounts of time with digital media. Fortunately, television and digital media can sometimes be beneficial. Multiple studies show that although aggressive television can certainly promote negative attitudes and aggressive behavior, prosocial content can foster positive behavior like altruism.
The idea that good relationships are central to both physical and mental well-being is an ancient theme, now supported by major research. Rich relationships reduce health risks that range from common cold to stroke, mortality and also several psychopathologies. On the positive side, good relationships are associated with enhanced happiness, quality of life, resilience, cognitive capacity and even wisdom.