Friday, May 30, 2008

Steps Toward Good Mental Health

Maintaining good mental health allows you to enjoy life, spend time with family and friends, and perhaps even continue working to a ripe old age. But how can you be sure that you will remain mentally fit?
According to a study in the United Kingdom, consuming saturated fats and sugars, additives and trans-fats can prevent the brain from functioning properly. This can lead to attention/hyperactivity disorder, Alzheimer’s disease and even schizophrenia. To help your brain, make sure you eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and whole grains. If you want to sharpen your mind eat foods with omega 3 fats, such as fish, nuts, seeds and some eggs. There is also a drink called Salba OlĂ© that contains 1200 mg of omega 3 fats per 8 ounce serving. You might also try a daily omega 3 supplement to ensure your brain receives the nutrients it needs to maintain proper functioning.
Keeping mentally healthy also means reducing stress, which can cause headaches, digestive problems, heart palpitations and at its worst – depression. Sit down and write a list of all the situations and/or people in your life that cause you such high anxiety. Then work toward eliminating them from your life. Of course, there are some situations such as a job or people like your aunt Mildred who just drive you bonkers. If you can’t eliminate a particular situation, try deep breathing or daily meditation to bring your stress level down. If it is a person you can’t turn away, keep your association with them to a minimum.
Good mental health also involves maintaining a positive outlook on life. Yes, this can be difficult at times. However, when you find yourself thinking negatively, immediately replace that thought with something positive. Learn to lighten up about things too. Life is short and there is no point in worrying about things that might never happen. And if they do, then you deal with them. By worrying, you can make yourself sick and lose sleep. Worrying can even shorten your life. Let go and don’t sweat the small stuff, as they say. Is it really that important? Also take time out for you! Light some candles, put on some soothing relaxation music and run a hot bubblebath.
Another issue when it comes to mental health and aging is memory. You run into someone you haven’t seen in a while and just can’t remember his or her name. You’re talking about something and in the middle of your sentence you lose your train of thought. Remember that it happens to everyone and it’s not something to worry about. For some interesting memory tricks go to the Aging With Creativity site.
Finally, you may not realize it but physical exercise has psychological benefits that can ward off depression, as well as increase oxygen flow to the brain. Just five minutes of aerobic exercise can also reduce stress and tension.

1 comment:

Krisha@neurology emr said...

I will definitely keep those in mind to live more vibrant and have a healthier life. Thanks for sharing!