Hello again friends! We are back today to continue talking about folate and also mental wellness. The days are getting longer, flowers are springing from the ground and things are beginning to wake from their winter slumber.
Folate and Mental Wellness
We are continuing to up our folate intake in our daily lives. We are mainly doing this by eating more dark leafy greens in our shakes and including more beans in our lunches and dinners. While we may not be seeing the tangible benefits immediately, we know based on our research that there are many beneficial long term effects that will allow our happiness to continue.
Research has shown that there are links between our health and the amount of folate that we have in our daily diets. Specifically, the creation of red blood cells, metabolism of protein, and the creation of DNA which are all important in our body running like a fine tuned engine (1). Also, It indirectly helps with the synthesis of three neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, all of which are happy hormones involved in mood regulation and other important functions (2). So, we plan on continuing to watch the amount of folate that we are consuming to maximize our overall happiness.
Journaling and Mental Wellness
As we’ve mentioned before, eating the correct nutrients is just part of the way that we are looking at overall happiness. Another way is through strengthening our mental wellness.
One of the ways that I have been trying to benefit my mental wellness has been through journaling. I was skeptical of what journaling could do for me at first. It was recommended to me by a few people that I respected and I read that it was a great way to handle being overloaded with thoughts. I have always had a ton of thoughts on my mind that I didn’t know what to do with. Being an analyst you often have to think through complex problems while also asking tons of questions that may help you solve the problems. This is what increases thoughts in work life but at home as well because you tend to use that approach in everything that you do. In the past this has caused me anxiety. Doing a “brain dump” (simply the act of dumping all contents of your mind onto paper) in a journal turned out to be a great way to handle these thoughts during the day if I was feeling overwhelmed. This allowed me to keep the productive thoughts while removing the thoughts that I was finding to be distracting but could also be used later now that they are on paper.
The first time that I tried to journal, it felt awkward. I thought that there was a right way to journal so it felt very uncomfortable just sitting down and writing in a notebook with no direction. I ended up just giving a short account of what had happened to me that day. So it was really just a list of accomplishments that I had during that day. But over time, I became more comfortable with the process and it has helped me collect and order my thoughts.
There are a number of things that I now find myself journaling about. Every morning, I always write what has happened the day before and what my intentions are for the day ahead while I am enjoying my cup of coffee for 5 to 20 minutes. Sometimes I will journal before I go to bed to have a clear head before I fall asleep. If I am having feelings about any struggles like a conflict with a friend, insecurity about a new job, a loss, I find that writing about these in my journal can help put my thoughts in order. I can also journal about my limiting beliefs, affirmations or motivations behind my goals to help restore confidence and keep me on track.
Benefits of Journaling
The benefits that I have seen so far:
- I find that I am more creative.
- I ask more questions of myself.
- I am kinder to myself.
- I let things go quicker.
- I recognize patterns in behavior.
- I realize I really enjoy writing!
Where will journaling take me in the future
I have only scratched the surface in regards to journaling. I plan on continuing on this journey and find new ways that journaling can benefit my mental wellness. Going forward I would like to try various journal prompts that will help me find new things about myself and help myself in new ways.
Check out our most recent folate related recipe:
Join Our Community: Find out more about our Challenge and participate by joining our private Facebook group, SPHappinessreset.
THIS WEEKS CHALLENGE:
I would like to challenge everyone to journal for 5 minutes a day for a full week. Just get pen to paper and be kind to yourself. There is no wrong way to journal. You just have to get started.