By Tracy McGillis, MFT, one of reflect's unique & talented therapists
As a licensed therapist and a former chef, I’m often asked, “What made you decide on those two careers? They seem quite random." While food and therapy appear different at first, they’re actually incredibly interconnected. And understanding why will change how you look at your next meal and every meal thereafter.
Think about the healing power of your grandma’s bowl of chicken noodle soup. Or the satisfaction you feel after hosting the perfect July 4th BBQ for friends. As it turns out, food and emotion are deeply linked. Because our bodies and brains are hard-wired to communicate with each other, food can directly impact how we feel.
What nutritionists and scientists are only now starting to understand is the power food choices and how the cooking process itself can have on mental wellness. It’s not only what you eat that matters, but how you eat as well.
In fact, studies show accessing and preparing healthy foods can actually reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even chronic pain.
Based on years of teaching and cooking, I've uncovered 3 simple principles that will dramatically improve the relationship between food and your mental health.
“Success is never final, and failure is never fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.”
With all the medals awarded and the Olympic flame extinguished in Rio, the world’s focus is starting to shift back to real life. For the handful of athletes who rocketed into superstardom like Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky, real life can wait a bit longer.
What about the rest of the 11,544 athletes who participated in the Games of the XXXI Olympiad? Well, if the recent Huffington Post and Atlantic articles are any indication, it doesn’t look good.
In the high-stakes world of competitive sports, success often feels zero-sum. One person’s win is another’s loss. Even a silver medal can seem like disappointment (ask two-time Olympic medalist & superstar figure skater Michelle Kwan, who is still one of the greatest of all time in my opinion).
Many athletes struggle with mental health issues like depression and substance abuse as a result. The exact statistics aren’t well tracked, but high profile competitors such as Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe and British track star Dame Kelly Holmes (both Olympic gold medalists) have recently come out publicly to discuss their personal battles with depression. For those still in the midst of competition, it’s about handling the pressure, and for those who have ended their careers, they toil with what’s next.
Helpful tips for managing stress, incorporating mindfulness, and promoting a healthy lifestyle