Mental Health Toolkit

The “Big 6” core pillars for mood and mental health by Andrew Huberman

  1. Sleep
    • Get 6-8 hours of quality sleep per night
    • Maintain consistent bedtime and wake up schedule (+/- 1 hour)
  2. Sunlight
    • Get 10-30 min of morning sunlight, even on overcast days
    • Sit near sunlight or invest in bright light therapy lamp (~10,000 lux)
    • Getting sunlight throughout day ideal for mood
    • Dim to no lights at night
  3. Exercise
    • Get 180-220 min/week of cardio in zone 2 heart rate
    • Incorporate resistance/strength training
    • Daily movement also beneficial
  4. Nutrition
    • Focus on quality, minimally processed whole foods
    • Emphasize foods high in vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and fiber
  5. Social Connections
    • Invest time in positive relationships
    • Limit physical/screen-based isolation
    • Reflect on which relationships are draining vs. energizing
  6. Stress Management
    • Use tools like cold exposure, deep breathing, meditation
    • Physiological sigh - inhale deep, inhale again, long exhale
    • Deliberate cold exposure elevates adrenaline / noradrenaline

Mental Health Tools:

  • Emotional granularity - label emotions with specificity
  • Respiratory sinus arrhythmia - alternate breathing pattern to increase heart rate variability and vagal tone
  • Cyclic physiological sighs - set aside 5 min/day for pattern of 2 inhales via nose, 1 exhale through mouth
  • Build life narrative - document key life events in electronic folders
  • Dream journal - record dreams immediately upon waking
  • Journaling - free associative and structured journaling for self-reflection
  • Process trauma and difficult emotions verbally and emotionally