May is Mental Health Awareness Month: Can Water (and Other Natural Means) Make You Happier?
Drinking water it is often associated with quenching thirst. We reach for water during exercising or rigorous activity, while eating dinner or a snack, or first thing in the morning after a long sleep. While it is understood that water is the best option for re-hydrating cells and providing physical energy, it is not generally known that proper hydration contributes to a healthier and happier mood, too.
In researching the topic of 'Mental Health Awareness Month' on Google top results range from therapists, meditation apps, books and self- help articles. While all of these suggestions are helpful and add to an overall approach to improving mental awareness, one Google hit was missing: hydration. Okay, so drinking water is not the most obvious solution when it comes to improving our mental health. However, given that research reports that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and over 25% of Americans suffer from mental health disorders, I can't help but wonder if some mental issues can be alleviated by clean and healthy hydration... especially in conjunction with improved diet and exercise. Now, I am not saying that drinking water is a cure-all. And I am not saying that chronic dehydration and mental illness have any sort of correlation. I am suggesting, however, that modern humans have moved so far from what is natural and untainted in exchange for what is convenient and instant that we are now left to be undeserved, dehydrated, and mentally disadvantaged. Modern humans tend to 'over-saturate' and 'overdo' it in an effort to make something better somehow, skipping past the basics.
For example: Drinking water today has become clouded much like our mental health routines. Doctors are suggesting that enhanced or electrolyte water doesn't add any measurable biological benefit. Our incredibly-made bodies regulate minerals and vitamins from our daily food intake, and do a better job of absorbing nutrients when we simply stay hydrated. Water, itself, is an incredible tincture of hydrogen and oxygen that offers numerous benefits to the human body. When our bodies are operating optimally we feel better mentally, too
All of this is just to say that going back to the basics - eating natural foods, drinking clean water, and spending some time in the sun or exercising - can provide copious benefits physically and mentally. These simple habits are often overlooked but should be considered when you might want a natural boost.
You don't have to take my word for it. Below are articles and studies outlining the benefits of simple hydration for improved mood, brain cognition, etc.:
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