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Two Tricks to Improve Mental Health From Phil Stutz and Jordan Peterson

Nearly all of us experience bouts of depression and anxiety with the pace of life these days. Often we drudge along waiting, wishing, or praying for a future date and time when things will be easier. But what if it’s up to us to create that time now or risk it never coming at all?


If you asked Phil Stutz, a world-renowned psychotherapist, best-selling author, and the feature of Jonah Hill’s documentary Stutz, he would tell you the sooner we accept that life will always require constant work, uncertainty, and pain the faster we will be happy.

He teaches the likes of celebrities, CEOs, and high producing athletes the principles of seeking pain, embracing uncertainty, and accepting work.

Why? Because it’s the only way out.

“The sooner we come to believe that life is working for us and not against us the sooner we start to accept and act,” says Phil.

As an east coast straight shooter and someone that is no stranger to chronic illness, depression, and life’s monkey wrenches, Phil tells it as he sees it.

And, with Parkinson’s this is no easy feat for him. Yet, he exercises early and often every single day because as he puts it, “forward motion is the ticket out.”


Jordan Peterson is a best-selling author, thought leader, and well-known psychologist.

One thing people often don’t know about him though is that he has suffered from depression and anxiety his whole life.

But with all that he has written and the vast amount of knowledge he has consumed, it was his daughter that cracked the code on mental health for him.

Having watched her dad suffer and having suffered herself, she decided to do an elimination diet avoiding foods known to cause mental health issue one at a time.

What she soon found is that it’s a relatively short list of foods that most people agree aid in depression and anxiety because of their effects on neurotransmitters.

According to her, and brain specialist Dr. Daniel Amen the biggest culprits to consider are artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and processed foods (particularly MSG, vegetable oil, and refined carbohydrates).

Lo and behold the diet changes worked for her! Even more rewarding, she soon had her famous dad waking up early again without an alarm and starting his exercise routine back up!

Food + Exercise = Mental Health

As a therapist and someone that is no stranger to the stranglehold anxiety and bouts of depression can have on us, I can attest to the fact that when we eat whole foods and force motion and exercise we feel much better mentally. I love that I am able to help people feel better both physically and mentally at the gym, in the kitchen, and in my private practice.

But it’s not easy, particularly on our own.

That’s where the gym community comes into play!

Each of us is on this crazy ride together and none of us are strangers to life’s challenges. Use this health-minded community to lift you up and inspire that forward movement and

healthy eating!

Try It Out

Next time you feel anxious or depressed take a ten-minute walk and note how your mood changes in just 10 minutes of forward motion.

Or if you have had anxiety or depression for as long as you can remember, try going two weeks without eating processed foods, preservatives, or refined carbs and see if you notice a dramatic improvement.

Michelle Menke LISW-S

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