Mental health is a subject that touches all of us, as statistics show that one in four individuals will grapple with its challenges at some point in their lives. From the subtle shifts in mood, energy, and sleep to the more profound impact of life changes and chronic conditions like depression and anxiety, its spectrum is wide and complex. In this context, the book ‘Mental Wellness’ by Pat Thomas takes centre stage. This review delves into the pages of this comprehensive guide, offering insights into its approach to nurturing mental well-being through natural means, highlighting its strengths and areas for potential improvement.
Pat Thomas, a certified psychotherapist and acclaimed author with a focus on alternative health, is known for her expertise. She has penned multiple books on natural remedies and holistic well-being, and she has contributed to DK’s Neal’s Yard Remedies collection, including works like Healing Foods, Essential Oils, The Beauty Book, and Complete Wellness.
What is the book about?
‘Mental Wellness’ by Pat Thomas aims to enable readers to enhance their mental well-being through natural means.
The book offers effective strategies for managing stress and navigating biological factors that influence mental health. ‘Mental Wellness’ encompasses a wealth of holistic techniques, including herbal remedies, essential oils, dietary recommendations, exercise, lifestyle adjustments, and therapeutic practices. By reading this book you will learn:
How to utilise herbal remedies, aromatherapy, foods, movement, and alternative therapies to improve mental health.
How to identify the solutions to improve one’s mental well-being based on factors like anxiety, stress, low mood, and more.
The insights and methods of Neal’s Yard Remedies, renowned pioneers in organic and holistic medicine.
Whether utilised independently for mild symptoms or alongside conventional approaches, these remedies, recipes, and therapies support your journey to mental wellness. Wherever you are on this path, the author hopes you will achieve the utmost health and well-being using the approaches presented in the book.
Table of contents
- Understanding Mental Wellness
- What is mental wellness?
- Our mental landscape
- Looking at lifestyle
- Our response to stress
- A holistic approach
- How Do I Feel Now?
- Tuning in
- Symptom checker
- Herbal Remedies
- The role of herbs
- Directory of herbs for mental wellness
- The role of essential oils
- Directory of essential oils for mental wellness
- Foods and Supplements
- The role of nutrients
- Directory of foods and supplements for mental wellness
- Movement and Exercise
- The role of exercise
- Aerobic exercise
- Everyday activity
- T’ai chi
- Alexander Technique
- Therapeutic Therapies
- The role of therapies
- Mindful meditation
- Mind exercises
- Time in nature
- Bach flower remedies
- Osteopathy and chiropractic
- Talking therapies
- Music therapy
- Hypnotherapy and biofeedback
- How to make
- An herbal infusion
- A decoction
- A tincture
- Herbal capsules
- An essential oil blend
- An essential oil spray
- Recipes for Mental Wellness
- Sauces and toppings
- Charts and safety guidelines
Five key takeaways from ‘Mental Wellness’
The book presents a holistic approach to mental health and incorporates safe and efficient natural treatments and therapies that harmonise with traditional methods. This approach addresses the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and spirit. The key features of the approach include:
1Herbal remedies can help improve the state of body and mind
Herbs contain diverse compounds with medicinal properties, often specific to their species. For instance, geraniol in aromatic plants like lemon balm contributes a sweet aroma and calming effects. The book profoundly explains how to utilise herbs and herbal infusions to improve health and the state of body, mind, emotions, and spirit.
Adaptogenic herbs, such as ginseng and ashwagandha, restore vitality by aiding energy production and cell regeneration. Antioxidants like cacao and turmeric enhance cellular efficiency and repair chronic inflammation damage. Herbs with antispasmodic traits, like chamomile and mint, ease tension, supporting a healthy gut-brain connection. Anxiolytic herbs such as passionflower and valerian alleviate anxiety by modulating calming neurotransmitters. Aphrodisiacal herbs like ashwagandha and cacao nurture libido and sexual well-being, intertwining hormonal balance and stress responses. This intricate interplay underscores the profound potential of herbs in nurturing mental wellness.
2Essential oils can alleviate stress
Aromatherapy, a branch of herbal medicine, employs essential oils extracted from plants as therapeutic agents. These oils, protective compounds in plants, boast complex compositions with numerous components, offering a diverse range of potential benefits for the body, mind, and emotions.
In the context of mental well-being, essential oils can help ease the stress symptoms both physical and mental. Calming oils like lavender, chamomile, and bergamot rebalance responses to external threats, offering support for symptoms and aiding sleep issues. Uplifting oils, such as citrus and floral varieties, counter frozen emotional states resulting from traumatic stress, while also assisting with depression characterised by under arousal. This symbiotic relationship between essential oils and emotions underscores their potential to enhance mental wellness.
3Nutrient-rich foods nurture not only the body, but also the mind
When it comes to optimising mental health, the influence of diet on the brain is paramount. The book shares an extensive list of nutrient-rich foods that support cognitive vitality and emotional balance. Acknowledging individual needs, essential nutrients like complex carbohydrates sustain energy, while proteins deliver vital brain support. Antioxidant-packed fruits and vegetables combat cell damage and hydration aids cognitive function. A symbiotic gut-brain link is harnessed through probiotics, prebiotics, and fibre-rich foods. Specific nutrients like magnesium, omega-3 fats, tryptophan, and choline foster calmness, while immune-boosting components enhance overall well-being.
Thus, mental health can be significantly supported and improved by adopting a holistic approach to nutrition.
4There is a profound connection between physical activity and mental health
Our bodies are innately designed for movement, and ‘Mental Wellness’ highlights the powerful link between staying active and nurturing physical well-being. While it might be challenging to find motivation during periods of depression, anxiety, or low energy, understanding the intricate body-mind connection reveals that enhancing physical health can significantly uplift mental well-being. This connection is not solely biological; exercise yields immense emotional and psychological advantages. Often, depression and anxiety hinder regular exercise, but even small activities like a brisk 10-minute walk can invigorate both body and mind, fostering alertness and a positive outlook. Engaging in more rigorous aerobic exercises amplifies brain and muscle circulation, rejuvenates tissues, and counteracts fatigue. Moreover, physical activity induces restful sleep, an essential facet of mental wellness. By reducing stress responsiveness and elevating endorphin levels, movement fortifies our ability to handle stress and fosters a more balanced mental state.
5Therapeutic practices are beneficial for brain&mind wellness
Therapeutic practices like meditation, mind exercises and time dedicated to reconnection with nature are deeply rooted in ancient health philosophies and boast a wide range of benefits. Mindful meditation promotes relaxation, unlocks creativity and makes you more focused, self-aware and less stressed. On the other hand, mind exercises boost memory, encourage problem-solving and lower anxiety. These therapies are accessible ways for anyone willing to bolster their mental health and fulfilment.
Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews
Covers a comprehensive array of topics, including herbal remedies, aromatherapy, foods, movement/exercise, and therapeutic practices.
Well-written and accessible, making it easy for readers to understand.
Offers valuable remedies and interventions, allowing readers to create their own remedies.
Has a high-quality hardcover and stunning design that enhances the reading experience.
Some sections come across as a mishmash of remedies and approaches without effectively tying them together into a cohesive understanding of integrated mental health.
Best quotes from ‘Mental Wellness’
“Aromatic herbs and plants have been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes for millennia. Medicinal herbalists combine the knowledge and insights gleaned from modern medicine with respected herbal folklore to provide holistic remedies that employ the synergy of plant compounds to treat body, mind, and spirit simultaneously.”
“What you eat has a direct and long-lasting effect on your brain. Optimal mental health and well-being requires a diet with a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods. The following chapter explores a range of beneficial foods that support optimal brain function and help maintain energy, avoiding sugar dips to keep moods balanced and supporting concentration, focus, and memory.”
“Many experts believe that aerobic exercise may be one of the simplest and most effective, yet often neglected, interventions in mental health care.”
‘Mental Wellness’ by Pat Thomas stands as a beautifully designed and accessible guide that encompasses a wide spectrum of natural strategies to enhance mental well-being. From herbal remedies to aromatherapy, nutrition, physical activity, and therapeutic practices, the book offers an array of tools to support readers on their journey to mental wellness.
With its insightful content and emphasis on the interconnectedness of mind and body, this book is suitable for individuals looking to complement their mental health journey with safe and effective natural practices.
Where to buy
You may purchase on Amazon at the best price. It is available in paperback, hardcover, spiral bound, audio and Kindle versions, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.
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