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Article: Happiness & Nutrition

Nashma Brou

Psicóloga especializada en felicidad, amor y neurociencia. @nashmabrou


It is obvious that happiness and emotional well-being are two objectives that we constantly pursue. To do this, it is necessary to train constantly, creating a way of living based on increasing this well-being . The Mental Gym concept is a method that includes training techniques to feel better, learn to manage our brain capacities and know how to govern our thoughts. We must normalize and establish psychological work in our daily lives. We should not go to the psychologist only when something disturbs us, but to enhance many personal aspects linked to our own well-being, such as nutrition.

One of the four fundamental pillars of the Mental Gym is health. We must get involved in taking care of and cultivating our health on a physical, psychological and spiritual level. To do this we must develop good habits, get rid of bad habits and enhance our perseverance.

To achieve a good diet or, rather, a happy diet, it would be necessary to comply with the following tips aimed at modifying our eating routines and guidelines:

5 tips to modify our routines and eating patterns:

1) Improve self-care . Eating a balanced diet is a self-care measure to maintain good physical and mental health. The nutrients we ingest and the routines we create with food significantly influence us. And often we wait until we are well to take care of ourselves later, when it should be the other way around. Choosing healthy food and drink options helps us have better nutrition and well-being in every way.

  • Our information must be basic. That is, expanding our knowledge about aspects such as nutrients and prioritizing unprocessed foods. From there, we can access other information, always from our own criteria and experience. Not all the information we find is valid.

  • Don't get obsessed with counting calories , or constantly reviewing the ingredients of what we buy. We have to consider our way of eating, our body will adapt to the quantities we need to have better health.

  • Eating and enjoying food is fine. But food doesn't have to be the center of our lives. We must prevent food from having too much presence at all times.

2) Strengthen the bond with others. During the World Happiness Summit at the University of Miami, Chef Maria Loi @chefmarialoi stated that “ Nutrition is all about community ”. Trying to eat with others also helps us improve our relationships. And if we also want to change habits, taking advantage of the links will help us achieve our goals.

If we want to feel good, it is better to share . Generate new experiences and not get carried away by the pleasure of eating what we want. It is a habit that, like any other, we can acquire with practice.

3) Move . Diet is closely related to calories and physical activity. Moving not only brings benefits on a physical level , but also on a psychological level. One of these benefits is reducing stress and anxiety. When we perform physical activity we increase the production of norepinephrine, which can moderate the brain's response to stress.

  • It's about moving without having to do exhausting physical training. Movement generates energy.

  • A daily routine of at least 30 minutes generates benefits, both for our body and our mind, and allows us to focus our minds on other things.

4) Manage our thoughts and emotions. Emotional management is vital for our lives. Related to food, we can also talk about emotional hunger. There is a very common problem that is emotional self-regulation through food. Do you feel like you struggle daily with food-related anxiety and restriction? Do you feel guilty after going beyond your dietary limits?

  • The first thing we must do to manage our emotions will be to accept them. Emotions send us messages. When we accept, we resolve. And we become aware of what the triggers may be.

  • As Nietzsche said: “ Thoughts come when they want and not when we wish. ” It is often important that, even if intrusive thoughts appear, we do not value them, since they probably have nothing to do with reality, but rather with the interpretation we make of situations. If we try to place ourselves in the here and now, the present moment will distance us from future anxiety and guilt from the past.

  • Practices such as mindful eating or mindfulness will help us to be more aware of the emotions and sensations that food produces in us, helping us to taste and enjoy in a healthier way.

5) Give stability to our digestive system. To do this, it will be important to have a diet without added sugars, try to reduce processed foods and lower carbohydrate consumption. If we are able to have the time to prepare and enjoy a simple and uncomplicated meal, in addition to having the concept of good nutrition and maintaining good health from what we eat, we will also be nourishing ourselves with happiness. Because with these guidelines we will feel better, more agile, more energetic and healthy. It is good to consider that cooking is very good, that with primary foods we can make simple meals that are very tasty and with which we obtain a lot of pleasure.

With small daily habits we can train our mind and our heart , enjoying food much more, as well as the taste, smell and texture of each food.

People who believe they have a problem with eating should go to their regular family doctor or a nutrition professional, as if it were another physical ailment.

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