Why is Holistic health helpful to support mental health?

Let’s talk about the mind-body connection, shall we? It’s no secret that our physical health and mental well-being are intertwined. You know, the old saying, “healthy body, healthy mind”? Well, it’s true! Traditional fitness routines often just focus on the outside stuff, like building muscles and getting your heart pumping. But lately, research has shown that exercise and what you eat can have a huge impact on your mental health.1 (Adan,2019) We’re gonna dive into the magical world of exercise, nutrition, and mental well-being. We’ll explore how certain workouts and food choices can boost your mood and make you feel like a million bucks!

I’ve shared in a previous blog post the connection between Strength training and mental health especially for women in their forties.

Exercise: A Prescription for Psychological Resilience

Unbeknownst to many, exercise is not only beneficial for our physical well-being but also a fantastic elixir for our minds. Numerous studies have consistently demonstrated that regular exercise significantly reduces the likelihood of experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression.2 (Borrega-Mouquinho, Yolanda,2021)The simplicity of this intervention belies its profound impact. It’s as if exercise is a magical potion that enhances our overall well-being, fostering a sense of inner peace and vitality

Benefits of Exercise on Mental Health

Exercise has several positive effects on mental well-being. One important mechanism involves the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that act as natural mood elevators. Endorphins alleviate pain, induce euphoria, and contribute to the well-known “runner’s high” experienced by many people who engage in physical activity. 

woman slamming medicine ball

Benefits of exercise for your hormones that affect your mental health

Exercise has been shown to reduce levels of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone. Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels are associated with a myriad of adverse health outcomes, including impaired cognitive function, disrupted sleep patterns, and increased risk of mood disorders. Exercise acts as a regulator of cortisol levels, effectively reducing the physiological manifestations of stress. It promotes a sense of calmness and relaxation, offering a restorative effect. Check out my post on Understanding your hormones .

Exercise benefits on your mental well-being

Exercise has an immediate effect on mood, regular exercise has long-term benefits for mental well-being. Studies have shown that individuals who engage in consistent physical activity are less likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety over time. Movement has been associated with improvements in cognitive function, including enhanced memory, attention, and executive function. The FaithFueled Life App has exercises for all fitness levels to help improve cognitive function. 

Finding the right exercise for mental health

When it comes to choosing the right type of exercise for mental well-being, the key is to find activities that are enjoyable and sustainable. While any form of physical activity can offer benefits for mental health, certain types of exercise, such as aerobic activities like jogging, cycling, or swimming, are particularly effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

Mind-body exercises help with mental health

Mind-body practices like restorative stretching, integrative movement, and somatic movement combine physical movement with mindfulness and relaxation techniques, offering a holistic approach to mental and physical wellness. In The FaithFueled Life, you’ll find restorative stretching, Biblical breath prayers, meditation, and somatic exercises that guide you in inviting God into your physical practices.

Nutrition: Fueling the Mind for Optimal Function

Just as exercise nourishes the body, nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting optimal mental function. The foods we eat provide the building blocks for neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that regulate mood, cognition, and behavior. By consuming a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, we can support brain health and promote mental well-being.

The power of Omega 3s on Mental Health

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, are particularly important for brain health. These essential fats play a key role in neuronal membrane function and have been linked to reduced risk of depression and cognitive decline. Check out my blog post on 100 healing foods for more ideas on food to help with mental health.

Anti-oxidant-rich food helps with mental health

Studies have proven that foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, help to protect the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which have been implicated in the development of mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.3 Antioxidant-rich foods also support the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which play key roles in regulating mood and emotions. 

Diet quality affects mental health

Along with specific nutrients, the overall quality of the diet is important for mental well-being. Other studies have shown that diets high in processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats have been associated with increased risk of depression and anxiety4, while diets rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, have been linked to better mental health outcomes.

The gut-brain connection’s importance on mental health

The gut-brain connection highlights the importance of gut health in supporting mental well-being. A study on the effects of gut health concluded that the gut microbiome, the community of microorganisms that inhabit the digestive tract, plays a crucial role in regulating mood, cognition, and behavior 5. Consuming probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi can help to promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, leading to improvements in mood and overall well-being.

Putting It All Together: A Holistic Approach to Mental Wellness

Exercise and nutrition are powerful tools for promoting mental well-being and supporting overall health. By incorporating regular physical activity and a balanced diet into our daily routines, we can nourish both the body and mind, fostering resilience, vitality, and inner peace.

When it comes to exercise, the key is to find activities that we enjoy and that align with our individual preferences and goals. Whether it’s going for a run, practicing yoga, or dancing to our favorite music, finding ways to move our bodies that bring us joy is essential for sustaining a long-term fitness routine.

Nutrition can help your mental health

When it comes to nutrition, focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods and prioritizing gut health can help to optimize brain function and support mental well-being. By nourishing our bodies with the fuel they need to thrive, we can enhance our mood, sharpen our focus, and cultivate a greater sense of vitality and well-being.

Holistic Approach to mental wellness

Taking a holistic approach to mental wellness means recognizing the interconnectedness of our physical, mental, and emotional health and adopting lifestyle habits that support balance and resilience across all dimensions of our being. By prioritizing self-care and making conscious choices to support our mental well-being, we can unlock our full potential and live life to the fullest.

How to incorporate a Holistic Approach into your mental well-being

As a certified LiveWell Coach and Wellness Advisor, I can help you come up with a holistic plan to help you feel better from the inside out.  Schedule a “Comeback consult”


  1. Adan, Roger AH, et al. “Nutritional psychiatry: Towards improving mental health by what you eat.” European Neuropsychopharmacology 29.12 (2019): 1321-1332.
  2. Borrega-Mouquinho, Yolanda, et al. “Effects of high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity training on stress, depression, anxiety, and resilience in healthy adults during coronavirus disease 2019 confinement: a randomized controlled trial.” Frontiers in Psychology 12 (2021): 643069.
  3. Singh, Ravindra Pratap, Shashwat Sharad, and Suman Kapur. “Free radicals and oxidative stress in neurodegenerative diseases: relevance of dietary antioxidants.” J Indian Acad Clin Med 5.3 (2004): 218-225.
  4. Li, Ye, et al. “Dietary patterns and depression risk: a meta-analysis.” Psychiatry research 253 (2017): 373-382.
  5. Forsythe, Paul, et al. “Mood and gut feelings.” Brain, behavior, and immunity 24.1 (2010): 9-16.

1 Comments on “Why is Holistic health helpful to support mental health?”

  1. A good word. Knowledgeable. Keep rocking, Mrs. Bolton 💯💙✝️💪🏾🏋🏿‍♀️❤️

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