Mind & Mood

Your mood and your mental health affect every aspect of your life, from how you feel about yourself to your relationships with others and your physical health. There's a strong link between good mental health and good physical health, and vice versa. In the other direction, depression and other mental health issues can contribute to digestive disorders, trouble sleeping, lack of energy, heart disease, and other health issues.

There are many ways to keep your mind and mood in optimal shape. Exercise, healthy eating, and stress reduction techniques like meditation or mindfulness can keep your brain — and your body — in tip-top shape.

When mood and mental health slip, doing something about it as early as possible can keep the change from getting worse or becoming permanent. Treating conditions like depression and anxiety improve quality of life. Learning to manage stress makes for more satisfying and productive days.

Mind & Mood Articles

Back to school

The process of learning and acquiring new information and experiences, like through structured college and local community center classes, can increase cognitive functions and lower the effects of mental aging.  The goal is not to earn a degree, but to keep mental activity thriving. (Locked) More »

Lend a hand, help your heart?

Doing volunteer work has been linked to better physical and mental health outcomes. People who volunteer may be more active, less depressed, and more likely to get preventive health care services. Volunteers tend to be more socially connected to their communities, which could give them better access to health-promoting information such as where to find fresh vegetables or where to get a free flu shot. Volunteerism is also linked to having a greater sense of purpose in life, which appears to lower the risk of having a heart attack or other cardiovascular event.  (Locked) More »

Moderate and intense exercise may slow brain aging by 10 years

 Image: iStock Another reason to turn up the exercise intensity: It may keep your brain young. An observational study published online March 23, 2016 in Neurology examined 876 people, average age 71, who were enrolled in the Northern Manhattan Study. The participants were asked how long and often they exercised prior to the study. Approximately 90% reported either no exercise or light exercise, such as walking and yoga; 10% did higher intensity activities like running and aerobics. An average of seven years later, each person was given a brain MRI and tests on memory and thinking skills. The tests were repeated five years after that. (Locked) More »

Ask the Doctor: Can we prevent this type of dementia?

Some health experts are optimistic that one day we’ll be able to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and possibly reverse it. Until then, regular exercise, a healthy diet, controlled blood pressure, and weight control may help lower the risk. (Locked) More »

Do you need a depression screening?

The 2016 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations for depression screenings suggest that older adults be screened for depression when there are systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up.  More »

Hearing aids may help improve brain function

More than nine million adults ages 65 and older have some level of hearing loss, but only 20% who need hearing aids wear them. A new study found that hearing aids can not only improve the ability to hear, but also restore lost brain function in terms of working memory, selective attention, and processing speed.  More »

The lowdown on low-grade depression

Dysthymia, or low-grade depression, is the most common type of depression, yet it often goes undiagnosed and thus untreated. Knowing the warning signs and how the condition affects life and health can motivate people to seek appropriate treatment.  (Locked) More »