Don’t Forget the Mental Part of Health
Submitted by Organizational Champion, Monadnock Family Services
Maybe you're holding down two jobs or can't find work. Maybe you're the parents of young children or the children of aging parents. Maybe you face a rush of daily demands or one potentially life-changing challenge.
Don’t forget that there’s a mental aspect to health. Stress or untreated mental health conditions impact physical health and just like other afflictions, they can be prevented too. Whatever your situation, you can live your life well. Check out these 10 tools to be and stay mentally well:
- Connect with others. Research points out that social connections bring health benefits such as better health, a longer life, and increased happiness.
- Stay positive. There’s health power in positive thinking. Did you know that people who were pessimistic had a nearly 20% higher risk of dying over a 30 year period than those who were optimistic?
- Get physically active. The importance of exercise is undeniable. It has been proven to boost your immune system, improve your mood, sleep and energy, decrease stress and anxiety and offer a great sense of well-being among other great health benefits!
- Help others. Evidence suggests that selflessness promotes health. Like donating to a favorite organization or charity? It turns out that people who donated money to a charity got a boost in a feel good part of the brain.
- Get enough sleep. Are you getting your 7-9 hours of recommended sleep a night? Sleep deprivation leads to higher levels of stress, impaired memory, and increased risk for depression, anxiety, and great likelihood of accidents.
- Create joy and satisfaction. Have you laughed today? Laughter decreases pain, may help with your heart and lungs, promotes muscle relaxation and can reduce anxiety. It’s also just plain FUN!
- Eat well. The right foods and nutrition works for the mind AND body. Eat right to help boost your energy, lower the risk of many diseases and boost your mood.
- Take care of your spirit. Spirituality puts us in touch with meaning. No matter what beliefs you have, spirituality helps our way of understanding others and suffering and gives us a sense of purpose and meaning.
- Deal better with hard times. Coping tools can be learned; practice makes better performance when difficulties arise. Don’t like talking about your problems? People who spent time writing about a difficult event had better health and less depression.
- Get professional help if you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A new perspective can bring amazing results!
Find out more at about living well at Mental Health America, a program dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental and substance use conditions and achieving victory over mental illnesses and addictions through advocacy, education, research, and service. Information adapted from www.liveyourlifewell.org.