Monday, September 19, 2011

Live Longer by Making Mental Wellness Your Mission

By Felicia Wong, M.D.

September is National Recovery Month and SAMHSA's National Wellness Week (Sept. 17-23), a time to remind us why "wellness" is so important to our overall health. Did you know, people with mental and substance use disorders die decades earlier than the general population, mostly due to preventable medical conditions?
Each day, we face all sorts of demands and drama which can lead to insomnia, lack of concentration, problems in our relationships, and other mental health issues. In a past blog post, I identified coping tools for dealing with stress and boosting your overall well-being. Here are "Top 8 Tips for Mental Wellness." I hope you will take another look and share with your loved ones this week. 

1) Help Others. People who consistently help others experience less depression, greater calm, and fewer pains.
2) Take Care of Your Spirit. People who have strong spiritual lives may be healthier and live longer. Spirituality seems to cut the stress that can contribute to disease.
3) Stay Positive. Positive emotions can boost your ability to bounce back from stress.

4) Get Physically Active. Exercise can help relieve insomnia and reduce depression.
5) Get Enough Sleep. Not getting enough rest increases risks of weight gain, accidents, reduced memory, and heart problems.
6) Eat Well. Eating healthy food and regular meals can increase your energy, lower the risk of developing certain diseases, and influence your mood.
7) Deal Better with Hard Times. People who can tackle problems or get support in a tough situation tend to feel less depressed.
8) Get Professional Help if You Need It. More than 80 percent of people who are treated for depression improve.
Which tips on this list are missing in your life? Today is the perfect time to take action! Your wellness matters. 

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Comments are reviewed before posting, and comments that include profanity or other inappropriate material will not be posted. The comment section is not intended as, and is not, a substitute for professional medical advice. All decisions about clinical care should be made in consultation with your treating physician. If you need help with a mental health issue, please visit our resource page.