The Zone - Volume 92
During a recent workshop, the discussion evolved into one of how individuals can continue to move forward with their lives having experienced so many ups and downs over the past few months about the progression of the pandemic. This has been a consistent scenario we have heard from other individuals. Feelings and thoughts can run the spectrum from frustration, stress, lack of trust, hope and excitement. Accompanying these emotions and thoughts is also how we are feeling physically.
Following the theme of Volume 91, it is so important to listen to the symptoms that we are experiencing both physically and emotionally. They may offer each of us a blueprint of what needs to be changed to continue moving forward and finding our flow during this time.
As we have discussed prior, the microbiome is a newer area of research helping us to better understand the mind-body connection. According to the National Institute on Health (NIH), “The microbiome is defined as the collective genomes of the microbes (composed of bacteria, bacteriophage, fungi, protozoa and viruses) that live inside and on the human body. We have about 10 times as many microbial cells as human cells.” The gut microbiome, while presently not clearly understood, helps produce 90% of the body’s serotonin. Some of serotonin’s role in the body is to help stabilize our moods, feelings of well-being and happiness. In addition, serotonin also helps with sleeping, eating and digestion. As the research unfolds, it appears that diet has a direct impact on our gut microbiome and, therefore, has the potential to influence serotonin production. Recent research at the National Institute of Health (NIH) demonstrates how a diet high in simple sugars can cause an imbalance in our gut microbiome and increase inflammation and have negative health effects on our mind and body.
An example of how the balance of the microbiome can impact us is the following. An individual may be feeling frustrated because of the continual changing nature of the guidance on the pandemic. However, if they have a diet high in sugar, the resulting imbalance of the gut microbiome might push their feelings to a sense of high frustration, anxiety, and depression.
From the lens of resilience, we have the potential to positively impact the health of our minds and bodies by being focused on the balance of the gut microbiome. This is so important during times when we feel hopeless, helpless, fatigued, and/or depressed that we have the tools to help ourselves and others sitting right in our grocery stores and farmers markets.
The mind-body connection is systemic.
The current fluctuation of expectations will probably continue.
The insights that we will gain from continuing research on the microbiome will pave new self-care practices.
Choose your foods wisely.
Listen to what you body is telling you.
Remember what your grandmother told you, “Fish is Brain food.”
Things to Limit
The victim mentality.
Being known by your voice at the drive-through.
Being out of balance.
Quote of the Week
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot”
As we all continue to cope with the ongoing ups and downs, hopes and discouragements of the pandemic, we need to keep focused on how we can have an enormous strength in creating our emotional state. This is not easy, however it can have enormous benefits to ourselves and those around us.
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The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.
We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.
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