Ever have those days where you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and have an unshakeable dark cloud hanging over you for hours and hours? When these down days occur, it’s usually a combination of good food, good company and distracting activity that shakes off the funk. Rarely will a headache tablet, or simply telling yourself to snap out of it, do the trick. That’s because, in a countless manner of ways, our bodies and minds are completely interconnected. Yes, what you’ve heard is true: a healthy body equals a healthy mind.

Food Affects Your Mood

If you’ve ever lived off a diet of junk food, heavy in sugar, salt and fat, you’ll know that while these foods taste pretty good going in, you soon experience a lag in energy and a feeling of heaviness as your body battles to digest them.

While it’s certainly not necessary to deprive yourself of anything, a diet that’s balanced and features more good stuff than bad will have a positive impact on your health and mindset. You may be surprised to hear that over half of Americans suffer from health issues such as chronic pain, skin irritations, ill mental health, and allergies. All of which could be remedied by a change in diet.

To discover if your daily diet includes food groups which your body doesn’t respond well to, you could consider an elimination diet, such as whole30. Elimination diets work by cutting out certain food groups and monitoring the way your body reacts to the change. You can find out more information on the Whole30 food list.

Exercise Will Put a Smile On Your Face

Going out for a run or to a gym class can sometimes feel like a drag, but no one has ever said, “I wish I hadn’t done that workout.” The endorphins released from exercise can work miracles on your outlook and mental state. Research has shown that regular runners are more resilient during stressful situations, and of course, the community and social aspect of attending a fitness class can be just the medicine to pick you up out of a bad mood. So, next time you’re feeling beat, sweat that frown upside down!

Stretching Releases Emotional Strain

Yoga advocates would attest that the mindful and spiritual essence of its sequences can rejuvenate your body and mind. Indeed, there are certain poses targeted to parts of the body that are particularly efficient at ridding you of negative emotions.

Stress, upset, anxiety and other unpleasant feelings are associated with hip tension. A yogi’s advice? Prop yourself up in a hip opener, such as Reclining Bound Angle Pose, at the end of a long and draining day. Don’t be surprised if you well up or shed a few tears, that’s just the emotion leaving your body. Twisting poses, such as Half Lord of the Fishes, are also excellent for detoxing both mentally and physically.

Next time you’re a little down in the dumps, think about how to uplift your spirit by feeding your body physically and emotionally.

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