What is Mental Wellness?

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

I had the great pleasure last week to be at the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii – where I got to meet and interact with people from all over the globe. I was there competing as part of the Executive Challenge, which brings together business leaders from around the world to compete, but also to connect and network and celebrate our families and friends who have supported us all year.

As we’re all meeting one another, we learn about where everyone is from; what they do for work; and how they arrived at Kona – so it was with great pleasure for me to describe what we’re doing at Amare Global – The Mental Wellness Company.

As you might imagine, this health-conscious population of executive athletes was quite interested in mental wellness (personally, as well as for their families and employees) and curious about our approach of harnessing the new science around the microbiome and Gut-Brain-Axis.

When I describe “what is mental wellness” to someone, I try to keep it short:

“It’s the ability to handle stress and feel good with mental, physical, and emotional balance.”

When I describe how we do that, I also keep it simple, explaining that:

“How we feel it not just in our head, but also in our gut – and by balancing our microbiome (gut bacteria) and their production of neurotransmitters, we can optimize how we feel and perform.”

The World Health Organization defines mental wellness as: “A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” 

Let’s be honest, most people don’t feel great – they feel “fine” or just “OK” – and they don’t realize that there are effective natural approaches that can help them feel their best – what we call “flourishing” – and we can do that through the Gut-Brain-Axis.

If someone wants an even more detailed explanation about “what is mental wellness” then I’ll use this:

Having good Mental Wellness means that you’re energetic, optimistic, and resilient.

On a daily basis, it means that you can focus and get things done; that you can relax and sleep well; and when the “you know what” hits the fan, that you can rise to the occasion and solve the problem.

Mental Wellness is a natural, holistic, non-clinical approach to developing our internal resources to help us think, feel, connect, and thrive. 

As an active multi-dimensional process of moving from languishing to resilience to flourishing – focusing on Mental Wellness helps us move toward a deeper, richer, and more meaningful human experience.

It’s always good to keep in mind that simple idea that “how we feel is not just in our head – it’s also in our second brain – the gut” – because that reminds us that the state of our mind affects our body and vice versa.

On the eve of our Global Convention, I feel so fortunate to be part of world-leading company like Amare, that is harnessing the new science of the Microbiome and Gut-Brain-Axis, to deliver innovative natural products and lifestyle programs that allow people to create personalized approaches to help them and their families optimize their Mental Wellness.

About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

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