When it comes to making healthy changes in one’s life, the task can seem daunting when taken on all at once. When small changes are implemented here and there, it can make a world of difference and it can seem less overwhelming. Also, you may have a better chance of having long-term success at sticking with the changes you want to see when taken one step at a time. When trying to get healthy, one change that is fairly easy, but is often overlooked is your water intake. Many people are dehydrated and don’t even know it. According to https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086 the most common signs of chronic dehydration in adults include:
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
These are signs to look for if you think you may be dehydrated. If you think you or someone you know may be dehydrated, please seek out professional help.
Due to the symptoms, it can cause, dehydration can affect a person’s mood as well. According to https://www.webmd.com/women/news/20120120/even-mild-dehydration-may-cause-emotional-physical-problems#1 a study done on 25 healthy women showed that even mild dehydration dampened their mood. Over three different experiments, ‘the women were given a battery of tests measuring their concentration, memory, and mood when they were dehydrated and when they were not. Overall, women’s mental ability was not affected by mild dehydration. But they did have an increase in perception of task difficulty and lower concentration’. A similar study was done with men and found a similar effect between the sexes. Therefore, if you are feeling down and not quite sure why, try talking with your therapist and doctor to see if you may be suffering from chronic dehydration.
When you become thirsty, your body is already dehydrated, so you should constantly be taking in water in some form or fashion. Drinking straight water is the best way, but you can receive water from other sources such as fresh juices, coffee, tea, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Try keeping a water bottle handy so that you always have access to something to drink. You can also try adding fresh fruit and herbs such as mint to your water to enhance the flavor. Also, everyone’s body is different, so talk with a professional on how much water you should be consuming for your body type to ensure you will be adequately hydrated. All in all, water is the elixir of life. We need water to live, so why not treat our bodies well and keep it flowing freely through us! Stay hydrated my friends!
By Garcsa Brooks, Counseling Intern
Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc.