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Keeping Your Mental Health In Check

Caring for your mental health is just as important as caring for your physical health; the two goes hand in hand. If you are sick, your mental state will be seriously affected. You may feel discouraged, listless, or unhappy - even if you do not know that you are sick. Many illnesses show themselves first in mental symptoms. In the same way, your mental health affects your physical functioning. If you are worried, tired, or depressed, the tension will affect your body causing aches, pains, and ultimately - illness. If you are calm and relaxed, your body is able to function more easily, and your mental as well as your physical will remain healthy.

Everyone encounters stress and/or anxiety at some point in their daily life, and so it is very important to learn how to deal with tension and worry in order for them not to get the best of us. Below are a few suggestions to help minimize stress and strains in your life.

Do not worry about things that are beyond your control. Some degree of concern about the future or a specific problem is natural, but too much worrying solves nothing and will only lead to unnecessary pain and anxiety. Also, do not dwell on the problem for too long. As soon as you are able to identify the problem, start working on a viable solution.

Plan and stick to a schedule that allows you to have a certain amount of free time everyday. Sticking with a schedule will undoubtedly give you a sense of calm; after doing relatively the same things everyday, at the same time for a while, your mind, body and spirit will adjust to your routine. This can only be advantageous to your health. Also, in your schedule planning, allot some relaxation time for yourself on a daily basis. It is very important to break away and breathe.

Be sure to get adequate rest, nutrition and exercise. These are three requirements that affect your mental well-being as much as your physical well-being. Learning how to eat right, and making sure you do so on a daily basis, will equip your body with the right nutrients to invigorate you as well as store the necessary nutrients to fight off diseases. Taking time out to exercise regularly will help to keep your body, mind and spirit in tip top shape. In the same way, making it a priority to get enough sleep will give your mind and body a constant renewal. When you get ample rest, eat nutritious foods and exercise regularly, you give your body balance and keep your body in synch with your mind and spirit. You incorporate the important attributes to bring out the best in you.

Try to control your moods and moderate them whenever necessary. Try to remain calm and cheerful, especially in stressful times. You may want to develop a system where you tune out the 'bring me downer' temporarily, and tune in to something that you have proven to cheer you up; it could be something as simple as putting on your favorite music or dressing up in one of your favorite outfits and smiling at yourself in the mirror or taking a long ride out. After you have regain your composure and is feeling bright again, you can take a look at what caused you to feel the way you did and work on a plan to deter that feeling.

Practice relaxation conscientiously. Concentrate on enjoying your breaks, lunch hours, and days off. Taking a vacation for even a few days and experiencing a change of scenery can be very rewarding. Learning to relax physically, as with yoga, for example, will also help you to relax mentally. You may find that a hobby such as painting, gardening, tennis, or golf helps you to relax. Be conscientious to your mental and physical; leave your work problems at the office when you leave for the day. Likewise, when you are at work do not think about any other hindrances that are not work related; go easy on yourself and separate them.

Last, but not least, laugh at yourself. Recognize that you are human, capable of faltering and learn to embrace your mistakes; learn from them, and improve your life.

We need to address our feelings of worry and anxiety as soon as we encounter them. Not addressing them promptly may lead to another very common and more serious mental health problem - depression. So make an effort today to be so in tuned with yourself that you are better able to recognize and identify your change in mood and the cause - immediately. Subsequently, you should formulate a solution to the cause, instead of worrying or feeling anxious about it. There is a solution to every problem, whether short or long term, and if we are aware and proactive we can preserve our mental health well into our nineties - and beyond. So do it for you! Your body - mental, physical, and spiritual, is your responsibility. It is up to you to make the right decisions that will promote longevity and enhance your experiences on this earth.

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