Diet, exercise, mental health


Helpful information for self-help enthusiasts, and for helpers and counsellors of others

How to feel better (emotionally) by eating better and exercising a little

By Renata Taylor-Byrne and Jim Byrne, 29th October, 2019


Diet,exercise book coverThis book will teach you about the links between diet and exercise, on the one hand, and the emotional states of anger, anxiety and depression, on the other.

If you follow the advice in this book, you will optimize the chances of avoiding those debilitating emotional upsets, provided you also have a reasonable attitude towards life, and that you get a good night’s sleep.

And, if you are in the business of helping others with their problems of anger, anxiety and/or depression, this book will be a great resoure which will help you with that work.

Get your paperback copy – or your Kindle eBook version – from one of the following Amazon outlets:  Amazon India


Diet,exercise book coverCounselling for anger, anxiety and depression takes many forms – from the psychodynamic, through the humanistic, to the cognitive-behavioural.  And there are some approaches which do not fit that tripartite division.

But counselling for emotional problems – like anger, etc., – tends to overlook two of the most important, and increasingly common, sources of the causation or aggravation of those emotional over-stimulations.  And those two common sources are:

– Eating the wrong foods, and failing to eat the right kinds of foods; failure to take necessary nutritional supplements; dehydration; drinking sugary and alcohol and caffeine based drinks; and so on; and:

– Sitting around, inactive, and failing to take enough physical exercise.

There is a strong prima facie case today for all counsellors and psychotherapists to find out how to advise their counselling clients regarding the basics of good nutritional and exercise strategies.  And counsellors should routinely check the diet and exercise practices of their clients, to eliminate those potential sources of anger, anxiety and/or depression.


How to control your anger, anxiety and depression, using nutrition and physical exercise

Copyright © Renata Taylor-Byrne and Jim Byrne, 2017


If you want to be mentally healthy and happy, you have to know how to maintain optimal physical health!

Updated on 9th January 2019

Everybody needs a detailed understanding of the links between anger, anxiety and depression – on the one hand – and nutrition and physical activity – on the other…

Diet,exercise book coverRenata Taylor-Byrne and I did a lot of research and reflection on this subject, because we wanted to teach others the part that nutrition and exercise play in the emotional well-being of most coaching and counselling clients.

Our overall aim is to put an end to the false assumption that the body and mind are separate entities, which can be treated in isolation from each other (by medicine, on the one hand, and by psychotherapy on the other).

Human beings are very complex; indeed the most complex entities in the known universe.  But that does not mean we cannot hope to come to understand ourselves better than we currently do.

There are, for example, some identifiable factors which contribute to the emotional states of humans; and there is now a good deal of research which needs to be added to the psychological model of the human being: including the role of gut bacteria; and how the guts communicate the with brain-mind; and the positive and negative effects of particular foods on emotional states.

We can learn to better understand our body-brain-mind interactions with our social environments, and this can enable us to understand ourselves and our clients, and to help them, and ourselves, more effectively.

For example: we are affected (emotionally and physically) by our diets; the amount of exercise we do; our self-talk (or ‘inner dialogue’); our sleep patterns; our family of origin; and all the patterns of behaviour we observed and experienced in our development; plus our current relationships, and environmental circumstances: e.g. our housing accommodation; the educational opportunities we had; our social class position; and our opportunities for employment (or earning a living).

However, in this book, to avoid overloading the reader, we have restricted ourselves to outlining the most important information you will need to know about diet and exercise, and their impacts upon mental health and emotional wellbeing.

We have produced the page of information below to let you get a good insight into the content of the book, before you decide to buy it.


Get your paperback copy – or your Kindle eBook version – from one of the following Amazon outlets:  Amazon India


Diet,exercise book coverWelcome to this page of information about our highly-rated resource for individuals who care about the connection between the body and mind; and the role of diet and exercise in the maintenance of physical and mental health!

This book is designed for two audiences:

(1) self-help enthusiasts, on the one hand, and

(2) counsellors and psychotherapists, on the other.

On this page you will find the complete Preface, the contents pages, and all the index pages; plus some informative extracts from the main sections of the book.


Although Dr Albert Ellis and Dr Tim Beck argued that our emotional distress is caused by our own thoughts and beliefs, in E-CENT counselling we argue that emotional disturbances are multi-causal phenomena.  Some of the causal factors determining our emotional state include diet, exercise, gut bacteria, self-talk (or self-story), environmental re-stimulation of feelings from the past, relaxation, meditation, current relationships, historic relationships, and general environmental stressors, etc.  Here is a brief insight into the gut-brain-emotion axis:

“Anyone who has ever felt nauseous or lost their appetite because of grief, fear or shock, knows that stress has an impact on the gut.  It has been more than a decade since animal studies began making the correlation between stress and changes in gut microbes.  The connection between stress, depression and anxiety is well established, and dozens of studies are now looking at how these conditions affect bugs in the gut.  The big questions – such as which comes first, the microbe shift or the depression – have yet to be answered. Because it’s a two-way street, though, it looks as if correcting the gut microbiome (or gut bacteria population, variety and balance JWB) could be a new way to treat depression”.  (Footnote: Dinan, T.G. and Cryan, J.F. 2013, Sept; 25(9): Pages 713-719: Melancholic microbes: a link between gut microbiota and depression?  Available online).

Quotation from: Celeste McGovern (2017) Bugs in the system. What Doctors Don’t Tell You, Jan 2017, Pages 28-36).

Comment by Renata Taylor Byrne and Jim Byrne: Our way of understanding this new research is this: Food is probably going to prove to be one of the best medicines for emotional distress (all other things being equal – including general stress level, current relationships, historic relationships, regular physical exercise, sleep pattern, and so on.  Holistic. Holistic. Holistic!)  And supplementation with friendly gut bacteria, combined with eating the right kinds of foods will prove to be important.  Big Pharma’s drugs for emotional distress have proved to be a social disaster!


Get your paperback copy – or your Kindle eBook version – from one of the following Amazon outlets:  Amazon India


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