In this fast-paced world today, whether you are 5 years old or 95, coping with school, work, ill family members and the general pressures of day-to-day life are really taking a toll on mental health. Stress is an inevitable part of life and here are some statistics:
According to Statistics Canada, “23% of people over the age of 15 report that most days are quite a bit or extremely stressful”. This number rises to 30% of the 35-54 age group.
One in four (25%) of Canadians will have an anxiety disorder in their lifetime, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada.
4.7% have reported symptoms of major depression and 1.5% for bipolar disorder according to Statistics Canada’s 2012 survey.
CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) reported that 50% of the population has or has had a form of mental illness by the age of 40. They have also found that suicide rates are 24% among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds.
In 2016, the Mental Health Commission of Canada found that more than 1.8 million seniors over the age of 60 were living with a mental health problem, and this age group is living longer.
As we know, exercise, socializing and being outdoors daily, all help alleviate and manage various symptoms. However, with current winter conditions, getting out and about daily may be a challenge. Here is how we can deal with the winter blues.
Massage Therapy to Improve Mental Health
One hour of massage therapy lowers cortisol levels by 30%. Cortisol is produced in response to stress and as cortisol levels go down, serotonin increases by 28% post massage. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that contributes to wellbeing and happiness. As serotonin increases and cortisol decreases, your body is able to fight off pain, anxiety and depression easier. The benefits can be discussed further with our onsite Manual Osteopath/Massage Therapist Camilla at 416 301-8085.
How Diet Affects Mental Health
Vitamins and minerals from our food are essential to our mental and emotional health. Here are just a few examples:
Fish oil plays an important role in brain function and studies show that omega-3 fatty acids help with mild to moderate depression.
B Vitamins play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood. Studies have shown that deficiencies in B-6 and folate may be linked to depression.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to depression, fatigue and tiredness. As it is hard to get sufficient vitamin D from sunlight over the winter months, supplementation may be required.
Incorporating the above into your diet, or getting tested through our nutritionists onsite for deficiencies, will improve your ability to manage stress, depression and anxiety. For further information regarding how a change to your diet can help, speak to one of our nutritionists at Better Living Wellness Clinic and Health Store– Nelia Amaral CNP, NNCP or Danny Singh (onsite Iridologist).