You identify some key goals that will support a balanced, healthy mind...
GOOD MOOD CIRCLE
The Good Mood Circle forms the basic structure to the Mood Programme but is adapted to your individual needs, eg. if you already have a high score in the 'movement' segment, but a low score in the 'sleep' segment, we put more focus on improving your sleep. You identify some key goals based on the Circle that support the overall goal of a balanced, healthy mind.
There is a direct connection between the gut and the brain via the vagus nerve. A large proportion of serotonin (the good mod chemical) is made in the gut. If your digestive system in compromised by poor diet, stress, medication (or a history of), or environmental toxicity, this could well impact on mental wellbeing. You will learn how to balance your gut as well as your mind.
What you put in your body creates the foundation for good mental and physical health. Most bio-chemical processes rely on nutrients from your food. However, there is no one diet that is optimum for all. We will figure out what’s best for you, using fundamental nutritional principles. What is ‘healthy’ has become all too complicated. My primary approach is to add in nutrient dense foods and crowd out the processed ‘non food’. I may well recommend some supplements to compensate for deficiencies and / or to target mood balance.
Exercise has been proven to be as effective as medication for anxiety and depression. I prefer to think of ‘movement’ rather than ‘exercise’ because I believe getting moving in an enjoyable way is best for mood. Too often people set unrealistic goals - ‘I have to exercise every day for 30 minutes’ - and when they fail, they feel bad and give up, which impacts on mood. We will look at how active you are, how to increase activity and get moving in a way that is fun and sustainable.
Another foundation for health in body and mind - and most of us don’t get enough or the quality is poor. There are many things that impact on sleep in a our modern lifestyle. Most of my clients have sleep issues and have not realised how undermining this can be. You will learn about sleep ‘hygiene’ and develop strategies for improving.
Your connection with yourself, your body, your emotions, your spirit, and your connection to others in your life. All these are essential for feeling happy and well. This is a broad area but is very much about being present with yourself and your relationships. It may also be about feeling connected to a sense of community, or finding your ‘tribe’,
Glass half empty / glass half full? Research shows that negative thoughts have an impact on brain chemicals and this becomes part of the depressive or anxious cycle. How we think about events hugely impacts our experience of those events. Many of us have automatic negative thought patterns that usually got formed in childhood as defence mechanisms. You will figure out what those are and how to create a more helpful mindset.
It feels like many of us are running around like headless chickens - somehow we have created lives that are on the go non stop - and there almost seems to be some kudos attached to it. Being stressed seems to have become the norm. Stress impacts on every level of wellbeing - weight gain, sleep, mental health, immune function, blood pressure, digestion, to name but a few. You will take a look at how stress plays out in your life and learn to manage it better by making new choices, and changing behaviour.
Change starts with making yourself a priority. All the other circle segments feed into this and vice versa. You will explore where self-care sits on your priority list, and if its at the bottom, how to carve out the space you need to make the changes you want.
I believe in order to feel good we need to feel a sense of value - that our lives have meaning, whether that’s as simple as being the best human we can be, or in some way being of service, or having a faith or spiritual focus. We will explore what that is for you and if it is lacking, how you can create more meaning.