It’s WorldMentalHealthDay and looking after our mental health is more important than ever.
Here are my top 5 tips…
- Destress with mindfulness – Just 15 mins a day with a mindfulness / meditation app can make a big difference and relax a stressed gut. Give it a go for 8 weeks and see how you feel.
- Up your plant points and fibre. Research shows a Mediterranean-style diet, super high in fibre (they ate 50g a day in one of my favourite studies, the SMILES trial!). Nourish yourself with plenty of wholegrains, veggies, fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds and extra virgin olive oil – it’s been shown to improve mental health after 12 weeks.
- Get out in nature. Just a couple of hours walking in forests (called ‘forest bathing’) has been shown to reduce high blood pressure and heart rate, as well as feelings of anxiety and stress.
- Cultivate connections. Ongoing feelings of loneliness can have a big impact on our health and wellbeing. It’s about the *quality* of relationships we have, not the quantity – why not think about phoning that friend you perhaps haven’t spoken to recently and stay connected.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Feeling tired can have a big influence on your gut-brain axis and is also a common trigger of gut symptoms.