In certain ways, productivity and mental health go hand in hand. Many psychologists and mental health experts believe that our minds need clarity in order to perform at their best. In order to limit the noise in our heads, we need to have discipline, calmness, and vision. The less noise, the less distractions, and the more forward motion.
So you must be asking yourself, “In these unprecedented times, how does one elevate his or her productivity and mental health simultaneously?”
First, it begins with what you’re putting into your body. You need to ask yourself if what you’re putting into your body is benefiting you or holding you back. Is it giving you vitamins and nutrients to maintain equilibrium and stay resilient, or is it making you slow, sluggish, and more likely to withdraw from challenges? One must need his or her body to be well kept so that productivity gets the support it needs.
Think of your body as a vehicle. The vehicle needs certain components in order to run at its best. The same can be said about your body. If you’re eating a lot of sugar and carbs, your body will slow down and have limitations in its capacity to perform.
In other words, food has an impact on your mood. According to Aetna, the connection between diet and emotions spawns from the close relationship between your brain and your gastrointestinal tract. Interestingly enough, the gastrointestinal tract is often called the “second brain.”
So if you want your brain to be at its peak performance so that it can solve all the complex problems that come your way, both in life and in business, you will want to feed your body with things that will help your brain.
This isn’t to suggest that you should avoid junk food at all costs; it’s just saying that eating junk food can be a risk when it comes to how your brain will react when you have a lot of things going on.
Here are things that can benefit your body:
- Meditating and practicing stillness
- Drinking coffee
- Eating healthy (e.g., fruit, nuts, and vegetables)
- Working out and exercising
- Taking daily walks
- Getting massages
Here are things that may not benefit your body:
- Sitting for long hours
- Eating a lot dairy
- Drinking too much soda
Next, is your mind. The same way you have to vet the things you put into your body is the same way you have to vet the things you put into your mind.
You might ask yourself, “How do I vet what I put into my mind?”
Well, it comes down to imagining your mind as your email inbox. There are a ton of emails that are spam and a ton others that are helpful for you. You have to disregard the emails that aren’t important to your productivity.
The same can be said about the mind. Here are things that can benefit your mind:
- Reading books
- Reading the newspaper
- Listening to podcasts
- Watching thoughtful movies
- Learning (e.g., Skillshare)
- Having great conversations
- Debating in productive ways
- Positive thinking
Here are things that may not benefit your mind:
- Watching a lot of reality television
- Binge watching a lot of movies
- Spending too much time on social media
- Reading a lot of clickbait news articles
- Focusing on things outside of your control
- Over worrying about the future
Bottom line, when our minds and our bodies are in tip top shape, we are our most productive. We can’t be productive if our mind or our body is operating at a slower speed or pace. We need both of these facets of ourselves to be at a place where they can handle anything and everything. In order to do that, we need to fuel the body with nutrients and we need to fill the mind with positivity, resiliency, and focus.