Good Mental Health
The mind is very powerful. It controls everything! Your mind is the key element to your overall good mental health and well-being. It’s inclusive of positive mental health and emotional health.
“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”
– Marianne Williamson
What is mental health and emotional health? They’re defined as your overall psychological well-being. This includes:
- The way you feel about yourself
- The overall quality of your relationships
- Your ability to manage your feelings
- Your ability to deal with adversities
What are the Signs of Good Mental Health?
A person who is mentally healthy may exhibit some of the following characteristics:
- Sense of contentment
- High self-esteem
- Zest for living life to the fullest
- Ability to laugh and have fun
- Sense of resilience: Ability to deal with stress and “bounce back” from adversity
- Sense of meaning and purpose, in both activities and relationships
- Flexibility to learn new things and adapt to change
- Balance between work and play, rest and activity, etc…
- Ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships
The characteristics above allow you to participate in life to the fullest extent possible (living life like its golden) through productive, meaningful activities and strong relationships. In addition, these signs of good mental health also help you to cope when faced with life’s challenges and stresses.
How to Promote Good Mental Health
Your Body is the Key to Mental Healthiness
Research suggests that your diet and your level of physical activity are essential to the promotion of good mental health. Taking care of your body is a powerful first step towards good mental and emotional health. The mind and the body are connected. When you improve your physical health, you’ll automatically experience greater mental health and emotional well-being.
The Power of Exercise
These are just some examples of how physical activity leads to good mental health and positive emotional well-being:
- Exercise strengthens your heart and lungs
- Exercise releases endorphins, which are powerful chemicals that energize you and lift your mood
- The physical activities you engage in and the daily choices you make affect the way you feel physically, mentally and emotionally
Tips for Syncing the Physical with the Mental and Emotional
- Get enough rest. To have good mental health and emotional well-being, it’s important to take care of your body. That includes getting enough sleep. Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep each night in order to function optimally.
- Learn about good nutrition and practice it. The subject of nutrition is complicated and not always easy to put into practice. But, the more you learn about what you eat and how it affects your energy levels and moods, the better you’ll feel inside.
- Exercise to relieve stress and lift your mood. Exercise is a powerful antidote to stress, anxiety and depression. Look for small ways to add activity to your daily life, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going on a short walk during lunch. To get the most mental health benefits possible, aim for 30 minutes or more of exercise per day.
- Get a dose of sunlight every day. Sunlight lifts your mood. So, try to get at least 10 to 15 minutes of sun each day. This can be done while exercising, gardening, or even socializing.
- Limit alcohol and avoid cigarettes and other drugs. These are stimulants that may unnaturally make you feel good in the short term, but they have long-term negative consequences for your mood and emotional health.
This Mind section is dedicated to getting the facts. I often joke by saying:
“Trust me, I’m a doctor.”
While this is true, as I do have a Ph.D. in Special Education, by no means do I profess to have all the answers when it comes to health. My purpose is to share my findings along this journey. Why? Well, if you’re anything like me, the journey to optimal health and well-being gets a little confusing at times.
- Be Positive and take pride in all that you do!
- Be Healthy mentally, physically and spiritually!
- Be Active and Adventurous!
- Be Totally committed to being the best you that you can be!