How stressed are you? If you’re a parent, have a job, are in a relationship or are alive today, chances are you have some stress in your life. May is Mental Health month in America. It is really important to not only have discussions to remove negative stereotypes around some of the mental health challenges that people have, but also to do all you can to support your mental and emotional health.
Let’s start with our eyes. This is one of the two main ways that you can help to improve your mental state. Don’t watch the news, period. Limit your TV watching to a few hours per day (preferably 1-2). Also limit your newspaper and online reading to as little negative or depressing stuff as possible. We’re in a culture where we’re surrounded by bad news and sad stories. If enough people stop watching certain programs the TV stations will have to rethink what they’re offering to their viewers. So when you’re not watching the news and TV, start reading the good news, books that will educate you and uplift your spirit. (Same goes for the kids!)
Second, our ears. This is a more difficult because you can’t just turn off the coworker who always complains that the sky is falling. What you can do is be proactive with your words. When you’re hearing something you don’t like, ask to change the subject or turn the discussion from a complaining session to a discovery session coming up with options on how to fix or remedy the complaints. The same goes for friends and family who always point out the tough stuff. Limit your exposure to things that aren’t good for your ears.
Finally, support your mind. First, put good stuff in. That means the food and things you read and hear, should be carefully selected. Do your body and mind a favor by feeding it with good stuff. Second, give it support. Get enough sleep at night, exercise weekly, and don’t have bad habits like smoking or drugs.
Get connected with Mental Health America, National Institute of Mental Health, and WebMD to learn more. There are also thousands of groups online (check out Facebook for some), and in your local area who you can connect with and get support on a more personal level.
Don’t let mental health get bypassed in your life. Do all you can to support the brain that helps you function.