Shape-up Mentally and Emotionally

By Barbara Radin Fox

Shopping at Health Food Markets. Reading Health or Alternative Medicine magazines. Eating whole grain breads, organic meats and vegetables, and honey instead of sugar. Even calming the office space with a spritz of lavender or an afternoon pickup with peppermint. AIl great steps toward healthy living, but is there more to it?

Mental and emotional fitness are equally important and actually, closely connected to the physical kind. Signs of mental fitness include clarity of thought, rational thinking and a good memory. Emotional fitness results in freedom from anxiety, depression, guilt, shame and compulsions. 

Facilitating mental fitness starts with an adequate diet from all the food  groups---protein carbohydrate, fruit, vegetable and dairy---at every meal. Eating three small protein snacks each day also helps brain function. And eliminating three ingredients that interfere with optimal brain function~caffeine, concentrated sugar and alcohol.

Next, it's essential to get sufficient rest: Only about one percent of the population requires less than eight hours of sleep so, for most of us,, eight hours of continual sleep remains the goal.

Finally, two forms of physical activity contribute significantly to mental and, emotional health. Three 30- minute aerobic workouts every week help clear the mind and increase oxygen levels in the brain. The other physical practice can take the form of deep breathing, meditation, yoga or other activities to relieve stress and promote, relaxation. The healthy mind and body package contains activity, balanced nourishment, rest and calm.

Barbara Radin Fox practices Body & Soul Therapy® at Body & Soul on Maybank, 2045 Maybank Highway, James Island, SC. She uses a neurological therapy called EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, to assist people to relieve depression, anxiety, frustration, addictions and more. To set up an appointment or for more information, call 843-795-1100. For additional information on EMDR, visit www.