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

"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 »

Navigating holiday pressures in the COVID-19 reality

The pandemic makes coping with holiday pressures a little tricky. If one is concerned about COVID-19 exposure at a holiday event, it may help to chat with loved ones to get support for a decision about whether to attend. If one must celebrate the holidays alone, it may help to grieve what is lost, savor past holiday gatherings, watch online religious services, and continue to practice special traditions—such as making holiday foods or putting up holiday decorations. (Locked) More »

Happy holidays?

The holidays might look different this year, and the change may leave people feeling a range of emotions from guilt to loneliness, and sadness. But while life may be different this year, there are things that people can do to make this challenging time a little easier, such as planning ahead to make travel possible, working with family and friends to come up with mutually agreeable plans, and taking pleasure in different aspects of holidays and events. More »

The thinking on flavonoids

Flavonoids, a class of micronutrients found in most plant foods, have been shown to possibly reduce the risk of dementia by protecting brain cells, improving blood flow, and reducing inflammation. Following a plant-based diet and aiming for at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day can help people get sufficient amounts of flavonoids. (Locked) More »

Tips to improve concentration

Older people tend to have more difficulty focusing than young people. This is because age-related brain changes make it harder to filter out stimuli that are not relevant to the task at hand. Tips to try to boost concentration include practicing mindfulness; engaging in cognitive training; and living a healthy lifestyle that includes managing underlying conditions, eating a Mediterranean diet, and getting the recommended amounts of exercise (150 minutes per week) and sleep (seven to eight hours per night). (Locked) More »