Monthly Archives: January 2016

Improving Mental Health And Its Journey

Most pharmaceuticals carry and offer vitamins and food supplements to help us achieve a healthier body. We spend so much money and time just to be physically healthy. We even go to the gym. We also allocate a specific time in our daily or sometimes weekly schedule to run or to do rounds of biking. We also avail of the pre-ordered food with counted calories as part of our journey to achieving the healthier us. But is this really all we need to be healthy?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Health is a state of complete social well-being, mental, physical and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” With this being said, no matter how many apples we eat everyday to keep the doctor away, complete health does not necessarily follow. We still need to have social and mental well-being as well for us to call ourselves healthy individuals. However, unfortunately, we forget most of the time that being socially and mentally healthy is also important. Especially mental health which is disregarded most of the time; therefore, early prevention and cure are unidentifiable.

Being the only responsible person for ourselves, we should be aware that series of social, psychological, and biological factors decide one’s level of mental health at any point of time. Furthermore, poor mental health is also associated with fast-paced social change, stressful work conditions, unhealthy lifestyle, past trauma, physical ill-health and human rights violations.

Correspondingly, specific psychological and personality factors can also make people vulnerable to mental disorders and there are some biological causes of mental disorders including genetic factors which contribute to imbalances in chemicals in the brain.

However, no matter how stressful our days are or how moody our hormones will be, below are the simple ways to maintain a healthy mental disposition.

  • Appreciate yourself. Be kind, respectful and avoid criticizing yourself. Put an effort to make time for you to do your favorite hobby to do something new which will widen your horizon.
  • Take care of your body. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water, exercise, get enough sleep, avoid smoking or if you can stop, be encouraged to do so and see a better and healthier you later.
  • Surround yourself with good people. Having a good circle of friends during Friday night is good but having stronger family connections and smaller but more genuine friendships are healthier. Go out with your family and try doing new activities and have fun with them.
  • Dismiss the stress. Stress will always be a part of our lives so better have good coping skills. You might want to try walking, playing with your pet or writing your head off as your outlets of stress. And don’t forget wear that beautiful smile and believe that laughter is the best medicine.
  • Empty your mind. Thinking too much is stressful. So as remembering so many things. You can consider keeping a journal so everything that’s running in your head can be transcribed in a piece of paper and you will not have to worry about remembering anything because it’s all in your notes.
  • Try new things. Tired of having bread in the morning? Try switching to pancakes just to break the monotony. To further excite your nerves, try doing something new like having a new hairdo.
  • Say NO to drugs and excessive alcohol. Yes, TGIFs are great but having too much to drink is not even close to having a nice and fun night. Also, let’s all put in mind that the usage of illegal drugs will take you nowhere.
  • Seek help when you need it. To prevent things from getting complicated or worse, seeking for help when you need it is advised. You should not be shy or feel embarrassed when seeking for help; in fact, it’s a sign of strength. You just need to encourage yourself because those who are treated early and appropriately can recover from mental illness.

4 Simple Coping Skills You Must Have For Your Mental Health

In mental health circles, counselors, psychiatrists, and facilitated group specialists always talk about coping skills. Why? Not only because we need them to get through the day but also to help us function better in society.

I’ve come up with 4 must have coping skills for anyone dealing with mental health issues. They’ve worked for me and I know they have worked for many others as well. So here they are:

  1. Have A Support Network

Family members and close friends would be ideal but I know that is not available for some. So, in that case, have your doctor as a support. Yes, I know, I know. They only dispense meds these days but he/she might be able to guide you to some resources that are available that you didn’t know about before.

Maybe there are support groups in your area specifically designed with you in mind? Even if there aren’t you can always go to a near by mental health clinic and look for services. Most of these places will take most types of insurance–even medi-caid. But what if it’s miles away and you just can’t get to it? Well, consider starting one of your own, Just have a small group of like-minded people simply supporting one another. And if you can find a volunteer facilitator, great! But it’s not necessary. Sometimes the best therapy is a group of people who “get you” and care about your well-being.

Some of the great things about support groups is that you can create field trips, pot- lucks, or dinners while you talk.

I am currently in a group supported by an organization called Mental Health America. It focuses on getting mental health clients back in to work that we can handle and hopefully enjoy. Without this group, this site would not be possible for me. Consider Mental Health America if they’re in a local area. Mental health clinics usually can help you.

  1. Find A Way To Exercise!

I know, I know. Some of you may barely be able to get out of bed before 3 pm let alone have the energy to workout… I get it. I used to be there too. Here’s the thing though. Forget about traditional ways to exercise; the gym, running, weight training etc… Have you thought about just walking? It doesn’t even have to be a brisk walk like the gurus tell us. All you have to do is walk! Walk around the block. Walk around town and get some lunch when you wake up, if that’s you. You don’t need to be a gym rat to get those feel good chemicals going which is exactly what we must focus on first, not weight loss. Say, for example the feelings last just for 30 minutes. It’s worth it.

Why? Because the more you do it the longer the endorphins and other neurochemicals are felt throughout the body. I walk 3 days a week every morning and when I’m done I practice 15 minutes of meditation. For me, it’s the best way to start off my day. This leads me to the 3rd coping skill.

  1. Mindfulness

The man called The Buddha taught that the source of all suffering was in our attempt to escape the present moment and our direct experience of it. Do you think this is true? There was a study done recently on mindfulness meditation. Apparently, it is the first of its kind that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation.

According to Dr. Bruce Lipton gene activity changes daily. In his research it illustrates that by persistent change of perception of your mind CAN alter the activity of your genes creating over 30,000 variations from each gene. Wild stuff, huh!

So, what does that mean for us? For the mentally ill, our present moment is subjected to a lot of suffering much of the time. You might ask, ” how can this help me as a coping skill?” Simple. By being present and feeling what you are experiencing in each moment would be ideal but what I’ve discovered is that people with mental health issues like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or generalized anxiety disorder etc… can only manage the pain for so long until we need to escape the present. I escape on bad days when symptoms flair. I feel it for a few minutes until I’ve calmed down a bit then I continue with what I’m doin’. Or, I simply give up the present moment lie down and go to sleep. Escape is necessary for us I’ve come to conclude. Too much time in our own head is not a good thing–for anyone.

When you feel something coming on, try to feel it. All of it. Breathe. Then release. If releasing is impossible, give up the moment and rest. Don’t fight yourself any longer. Be your best friend… even with the mental disorder. It’s the only way you will find peace in the present moment like The Buddha describes in his teachings.

  1. Develop More Hobbies Than Goals

What do I mean by this? Well, a goal has an end point. Once you’ve reached it it’s over. Don’t get me wrong I’m not against having goals. They work for some people but I’m not one of them. I think I’ve tried every method of goal setting out there and they just didn’t work for me.

Now, take my dad for example. He’s goal-oriented. He had a goal to build a real two-seated helicopter. Took him over 5 years to do it but he did it. He now has a ready to fly flying machine in my parents backyard.

The down-side to goals are once you’re finished, you’re off looking for the next goal and the next and the next. My father is now restless because his goal is finished and he doesn’t know what to do next!

So, try something different in a way. Develop hobbies that have no end. I’m talking about those hobbies that can only make you better and better with age and time. See where it takes you. Life is funny that way. You can start off doing one thing and having it end up evolving into something totally different–but right for you.

Coping skills for mental health will always be individualized so experiment. Try a few or all of these tips and see what happens. In no time at all you could be doing things you never thought possible for you.

Important Tips to Improve Mental Health

As everyone knows that health is very important for spending a happy and successful life. One has to realize that mental health is as important as physical health because emotions have a strong affect on one’s physical health and that too in a number of ways. In recent times key to get a great mental health has been found out and it is no longer considered a secret. In order to achieve better mental health follow the tips given below.

Firstly, one of the basic things is to have a balanced diet and a regular exercise that will help in improving one’s physical health that in return will help in releasing mood stimulants in a natural way by spreading in the body to improve one’s mood. Sunlight especially during winter months also serves the same purpose. Alcohol is a depressant so one should try to limit it and they should try to get sleep of seven to eight hours daily in order to have a balanced sleep cycle.

Secondly, stress can have negative or positive effects on the mind so it is very important to take certain steps to control stress which in excess is harmful and cannot be fully removed. By avoiding extra burden on oneself by rejecting surplus load of work or by taking out time to meet friends may help one in reducing stress level.

Thirdly, having common interests with some friends who are nonjudgmental, supportive and ready to listen to ones problems will help in improving the social circle and making life more uplifting and healthy. It is better to keep a distance from those people who try to bring down others morale.

Fourthly, meditation plays a vital role in keeping thoughts healthy. There a number of ways from which one can choose the right method which suits him the best. One can go to quiet and calm outdoor location or read a book that inspires him or one may find a calm place to relax him by focusing on sights and sounds.

Fifhtly, finding happiness by helping others is another way of keeping your mind healthy. One can achieve this be providing your services in community centers or by helping others at the soup kitchen. One can spend time with older people in nursing homes and reading books to them. These small gestures will help you in forgetting your tough routine and will give you inner happiness.

Sixthly, taking out time for one’s own self from busy routine will help in reducing some stress. One can improve his own self confidence and mood by reading a good book or by spending some money on oneself by having a massage or a new haircut.

Lastly, having some enjoyable hobbies of personal choice also relaxes and calms the mind. Some people love gardening, some love cooking or writing. These hobbies not only provide enjoyment but also improve your mental health by providing you creative means.

It is important to know that mental health can be affected by a number of ways so it is important to follows these tips to improve your mental health. If the health doesn’t improve after following the above tips then it is necessary to consult a psychiatrist or a physician.

Effective Tips For Maintaining Good Mental Health

In the modern world, whereas physical fitness has become an issue of top priority, the maintenance of mental health has taken a back seat. This has resulted in not only a rapid increase in the aggressive behavior of people but also in increase in various mental ailments caused by stress and excessive tensions. Thankfully, people have begun to realize the importance of good mental health for leading a peaceful, happy and successful life.

Numerous people have started adopting various measures to ensure that their mental health remains in tip top condition. This not only gives them more energy to face the everyday challenges of life but also enables them to remain calm and take logical decisions during the period of crises. It is a known fact that a relaxed mind is capable of working better and producing much effective results than an overworked and an excited mind.

There are numerous ways in which one can ensure better mental health. While many people like to meditate to keep their minds cool and relaxed, there are others who indulge in activities like reading, listing to music or even playing games to feel relaxed. People have also been found to take long naps or take long walks to rest their overworked and tense minds. Activities, such as watching fun shows TV or just spend enjoyable time with family and friends can also help maintain good mental health.

Besides these traditional methods people also follow numerous health tips to restore their mental health. These include things like doing various tasks at the same time, never feeling the need to rush into doing something, reducing the intake of alcohol and even exercising. Participating in various social and cultural activities is an ideal way of relaxing your mind as it not only helps in diverting your attention but also enables you to help your fellow humans.