Disorders and Treatment
- Mental Illness
- Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Borderline Personality
- Mental Health Diagnosis
- Mental Health Treatments
- Alternative Meds
- Case Studies
Our brain requires food, oxygen, exercise, relaxation, and rest. Especially when experiencing symptoms of depression, we need to make sure our brain is getting these basic needs met.
Self care is difficult when depressive symptoms are strong, and it might seem that our efforts make no difference. However, every small thing we do for our self helps to keep us afloat, and makes feeling better possible.
Everyone has a basal sleep need, the hours of sleep a person regularly must have to function at their best. Basal sleep needs vary among individuals though healthy adults generally require from seven to nine hours each night. Getting too little sleep dulls our mood and alertness.
Brains need daytime relaxation breaks as well, periods of rest from the stress of a busy or down day. Having continuously high levels of the stress hormone cortisol can, over time, damage our brain’s hippocampus (learning, memory), prefrontal cortex (planning, reasoning), and amygdala (emotional regulation).
Brain Rest/Relaxation Tips:
To maintain a healthy brain we must exercise our body so that nutrients and oxygen flow generously to its cells. The exercise does not have to be strenuous to be of benefit, and includes activities such as gardening and housecleaning.
Our gray matter also needs to be exercised. Neurons are activated by challenges and thrive with problem solving, puzzles, learning, or creative projects. Novelty forces them to get buzzing and create new circuitry paths, stimulating the growth of new cells and keeping our brain flexible.
Brain Exercise Tips:
The production of new brain cells is called neurogenesis, and it is naturally affected by what we eat. Research using aging rats showed that even an old rat’s hippocampus could grow new cells when given a nutritional supplement—here, vitamin and antioxidant rich blueberry extract.
Since the hippocampus is involved with learning and memory, knowing that it can grow new cells is excellent news for the future of anyone who is aging. The more immediate significance is that what we consume affects our daily ability to focus, think, learn, and recall.
Brain Nutrition Tips:
The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.