Dirt is the New Prozac
Did you know your body normally houses upwards of 10,000 different types of bacteria, viruses and fungi? Researchers have labeled this internal ecosystem the microbiome, a veritable Amazonian forest of microorganisms that lives harmoniously inside you. Modern day society has not been good to our microbiome, and the happy relationship between us and our good bacteria is being destroyed by our increasingly sterile, stressful, indoor-living, junk food-processed, antibiotic-filled, hand-sanitized, sleep-deprived, sun-deprived and sedentary lifestyles. The downstream effects of this lifestyle wreak havoc on the immune system, which in turn affects your mental health.
Carrying the rainforest analogy further, these toxic lifestyles start a fire in our body that researchers call inflammation. This inflammation, which originates in the cell, is thought to be an underlying cause of anxiety and depression. You need good bacteria in your life for good mental health, and there are lots of healthy ways to get them. Playing in the dirt is one of them. So go start a vegetable garden, enter a mud run, swim in a lake and make a sandcastle at the beach. And make an appointment with us to learn more about alternative ways to improve your mental health. Here’s to building a better brain!
Jeanne Amerine, BA, MSN, PMHNP-BC is a licensed psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner specializing in the management of psychiatric problems across the lifespan, including comprehensive psychiatric assessments, diagnostic reasoning, treatment planning and medication management.
For an appointment, call 910.343.8424.