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

Caregivers: Remember your own health

It appears that caregivers of people who spend a week or more on an ICU ventilator have a high risk for developing clinical depression that can last up to a year after the ICU survivor is discharged.  More »

Is an underlying condition causing your fuzzy thinking?

Underlying conditions are often overlooked as causes of thinking impairment. Common causes of fuzzy thinking include obstructive sleep apnea, medication side effects, an underactive thyroid, low levels of vitamin B12, or anxiety and depression. Treating an underlying condition can often resolve fuzzy thinking. If not, a visit to a neuropsychologist may be necessary. Other ways to improve clarity include eating a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet; exercising; and getting more sleep. (Locked) More »

Over-the-counter drugs may be linked to memory decline

A class of drugs commonly used in over-the-counter and prescription drugs to treat such problems as insomnia, diarrhea, high blood pressure, depression, and urinary incontinence may be linked to cognitive impairment. Scientists believe the drugs block the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that helps process information, which scientists believe is responsible for the effect.  More »

Owner of a lonely heart?

Loneliness and social isolation have been linked to higher risk of having a heart attack, needing a procedure to clear blocked heart arteries, or experiencing a stroke.  More »

What a therapist can do for you

Mental health is just as important as physical health and proper nutrition, and ignoring negative feelings can have a profound impact on all aspects of a person’s life. During these difficult times, men can benefit from seeing a therapist, who can help identify the source of their problems and then help resolve them.  (Locked) More »

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

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. More »