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

An outlook better than optimism?

Instead of being pessimistic or optimistic, it’s better for well-being to focus on reality and not on just positive or negative outcomes. To cultivate such a realistic outlook, one can focus on the present moment and take refuge in it; build a social network so one can lean on friends and family for support; identify with things that are more enduring than a current situation, such as nature or humanity; and focus on things that bring meaning to one’s life. More »

Boost vitality by engaging your brain

A healthy diet, regular aerobic exercise, and proper sleep are essential to keep your brain healthy. But a new study that followed older adults into their 90s found that regular work engagement and a high level of life satisfaction are also associated with mind benefits. These help to utilize various thinking skills, increase a person’s sense of worth, and encourage more brain-building goals and activities. More »

"Awe" walks inspire more joy, less distress

A study published online Sept. 21, 2020, by Emotion found that looking for things that spark a sense of wonder during a 15-minute walk led to increased feelings of awe, joy, compassion, and gratitude. More »

Blood pressure medications may affect your mood

Contrary to what doctors have long assumed, blood pressure drugs may not raise the risk of depression. Some have even been linked to a lower risk of depression, including enalapril (Vasotec), ramipril (Altace), verapamil (Verelan), verapamil combination drugs, propranolol (Inderal), atenolol (Tenormin), bisoprolol (Zebeta), and carvedilol (Coreg). But because people have very diverse reactions to medications, large-scale trends of side effects don’t necessarily apply to an individual’s experience. People who notice mood changes or other side effects after starting a new medication should tell their physicians. More »

COVID pandemic got you down?

Almost everyone goes through rough mental patches of feeling down, sad, and lethargic. If these feelings become more frequent and linger longer, that could signal a form of depression called persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia. An evaluation from a mental health expert like a psychiatrist or counselor can confirm the diagnosis and offer appropriate treatment like psychotherapy, antidepressants, or a combination of the two. (Locked) More »