Are you Neglecting Your Mental Health?

April 20, 2012

By Kim Leatherdale

neglecting-mental-healthMost adults recognize the importance of good health, but fail to recognize good health also includes taking care of themselves mentally and emotionally as well as physically. 

Your mental and emotional health effects you as much if not more than your physical condition. Without a positive mental outlook you may neglect to take of your physical self which in turn can affect your mental health. Our physical and mental health are closely linked and it’s important we do as much as we can to improve our overall health.

9 Strategies to Boost Your Overall Well-being and Nurture Your Mental Health.

  1. Include positive self talk in your daily mental chatter.  Take a few moments to pay attention to the messages you are saying to yourself.  Begin to tune in to the positives and to weed out the negatives.  Instead of “I can’t” say “I’ll do my best.”
  2. Determine realistic goals.  Make sure your goals meet SMART requirements: they are Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and have a Timetable.  Write your goals down and share them with someone.  As you complete each step toward your goals, you gain a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Practice relaxation.  Explore a variety of techniques until you find one that works for you.  Some examples are deep breathing, yoga, meditation, guided imagery or journaling.
  4. Don’t overdo.  Schedule time for yourself and learn how to say “No” to commitments you find unimportant.  Remember, when you say “No” to things you don’t want to do, you make time to devote to the things you really care about.  Keep your scheduled time yours.
  5. Create and cultivate a support system.  Plan time with people you care about and who care about you.  Make sure the people you spend time with support your positive outlook.  You can also become involved in your community to gain a sense of belonging.
  6. Discover your sense of spirituality.  A sense of spirituality means you feel connected to things larger than yourself.  Attending religious services, practicing meditation, or praying can improve your overall outlook on life.
  7. Practice intentional optimism.  Appreciate the good things in your life and expect things to go right.  Look for positives everywhere.
  8. Take care of yourself physically.  Proper nutrition, good sleep, and regular exercise all keep you mentally vigorous.  Avoid excesses in food or alcohol; both interfere with physical and mental wellness.
  9. Appreciate your feelings.  Your emotions are just another way of knowing the world and yourself.  They are not to be feared, but learned from even when they are uncomfortable.

Your mental health needs as much attention as your physical health.  Use the above suggestions as a way to exercise good mental health.  If you are struggling with any of the above suggestions or your mental health, seek help from a licensed mental health professional.

Kim Leatherdale About the Author: Kim Leatherdale is a licensed professional counselor and relationship blogger. She offers on-line, phone, and in office counseling and relationship coaching. For more information visit her website: CreatingRewardingRelationships, Facebook page: CreatingRewardingRelationships, or Twitter account: HappyCoupleXprt

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  • @WFTristan

    Great Post – Having suffered with depression on and off all my life I do most of these thing – No Alcohol – Daily Exercise – Hired a nutritionalist to monitor my diet – Daily Meditation – Goal setting. I’m quite lucky to have depression really ! If it wasn’t for the depression I wouldn’t be anywhere near as healthy as I am.


  • DrCarolynA

    That is such a positive way of thinking about it. I’ve always been health conscious but losing my mother to cancer has made me think even more about the effect of my diet, exercise and environmental factors.

  • @WFTristan

     Yes its the only way to look at it i think otherwise depression is….well depressing – I notice the difference in my mood now if i have a day or two eating junk (which i love to do)


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