notepad icon

Stay Mentally Healthy

05/18/2017
1.) Connect with others.
If you find that your current connections provide enough support, you can take steps to find new ones.

-Enroll in a class that intrigues you. You'll know your classmates already share a common interest (and if you don't meet anyone, at least you'll have boosted your brain).
-Join a book group, hiking club or other group. If you want to make your entry smoother, consider contacting the group's leader in advance.
-Volunteer. Working together builds bonds, and helping others has its own rewards.
-Reach out—a lot. Especially if you're in a completely new situation, like starting college, you may need to meet lots of people before finding some that suit you.

2.) Stay Positive

- Write about a positive future. The idea is to envision your goals and dreams come true. Tips include:
-Write about your great future life. Writing helps you absorb ideas better than just thinking.
-Set aside time so you can go into detail. Researcher Laura King, PhD, who proved this exercise a great mood booster, assigned 20 minutes on four consecutive days.
-A variation on this exercise is to imagine positive outcomes in a particularly challenging situation.
-Search for the silver lining. Looking for the positive in a negative situation may sound sappy, but it can actually show great strength. To find your silver lining, ask yourself:
How have I grown from this situation?
Are my relationships stronger now?
Have I developed new skills?
What am I proud of about the way I handled this situation?

3.) Get physically active

For your overall health, the American Heart Association recommends

at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (think walking or a leisurely bike ride) five days a week PLUS strength training twice a week.

OR
at least 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (like jogging or a challenging bike ride) three days a week PLUS strength training twice a week.

For your mood, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise or a combination of aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening three to five days a week. Some research shows that even lower levels of activity may offer mental health benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

4.) Eat well

the food pyramid, says a healthy diet:
- emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy products
-includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts
-is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars
-Don't skip meals. Eating consistently throughout the day provides your brain and body with a steady supply of fuel. It also prevents your blood sugar from dropping, which can cause nervousness, irritability and other problems.
-Snack well. Sustain your energy—and your ability to resist the vending machine—by packing healthy snacks. Try to keep some nuts, whole or dried fruit or other portable food in your bag or backpack.
-Work on your balance. Maybe you know that your body needs a varied diet. But have you thought about your brain? Your brain needs a healthy supply of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, or it can't perform functions that affect your mood and thinking.
-Don't over-diet. Eat to be healthy and fit—not to fit into a certain pair of jeans. Strict food rules usually backfire, and excessive dieting can be dangerous. If you or someone you know seems at risk of an eating disorder
For additional nutritional information, see mypyramid.gov.

For the original article please visit:
http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/ten-tools
shaddow