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

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 »

Worries on your mind

People who worried a lot about the future or repetitively thought about unchangeable past events were more likely to experience a significant decline in cognitive function and memory in a 2020 study. People with these negative thinking patterns also had more beta-amyloid and tau protein deposits in the brain, which can be a sign of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. It’s possible, study authors said, that these negative thinking patterns raise stress hormone levels, which may lead to changes in the brain. (Locked) More »

Minding your memory

Most adults experience the occasional "senior moment" as they age. While these memory slips may be embarrassing and stressful, they are not always a warning sign of problems like Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Still, for specific types of everyday forgetfulness, adopting certain lifestyle behaviors and strategies can help people retain and recall information and navigate memory lapses when they arise. More »

Music to your brain

Music has unique effects on the brain, engaging different parts of the brain simultaneously. It has been shown to have the ability to alter mood and even improve memory. Musical memories are stored in same part of the brain as habit-memories, such as riding a bike. This may explain why people with Alzheimer’s disease are sometimes able to remember how to play an instrument, when other memories have faded. (Locked) More »

The mental side of cardiac rehab

Recovery from a heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty, or heart surgery often involves cardiac rehabilitation. While it’s normal to have some anxiety and stress after a heart-related issue, dealing with these issues and treating even more significant problems such as depression can affect people’s recovery success and increase their risk of future problems. (Locked) More »

Tips to defuse a meltdown

There are several ways to escape a meltdown—an overwhelming feeling of stress or anger. One strategy is to calm the body with slow breathing. Another strategy is to shift one’s thought patterns. This can be done by paying attention to one’s inner dialogue, trying not to believe one’s thoughts automatically, asking if the thoughts are fact or opinion, thinking about the big picture, and realizing that these emotions will fade. Someone who is experiencing frequent meltdowns should consider speaking to a doctor. More »

Brain health and walking speed often decline together

Scientists found that slower gait speed and cognitive decline may be related, as both may be affected by similar factors, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and abnormal deposits of beta-amyloid and tau proteins in the brain. More »

Recognizing and easing the physical symptoms of anxiety

Anxiety can produce physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach upset, and tightness in the chest. Sometimes this sets up a vicious cycle, in which anxiety triggers physical symptoms, and the symptoms magnify anxiety, which makes them even worse. Doing distracting tasks or relaxation exercises can help break this cycle. People should seek professional help if symptoms can’t be controlled. More »