Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How to Stay Emotionally Healthy While Going Through a Crisis

picture from Beliefnet  
Many of us at one time or another have gone through some period in our lives where we may have felt anxiety, depression, stress, great loss or other emotional or mental difficulties.  Therapy and/or counseling is always helpful and since I have gone to counseling before I can attest to its benefits. You can also take another important step and take care of yourself by taking care of your body. Studies have shown that the mind and body are linked.  When you are feeling better physically you start to feel better emotionally. According to Melinda Smith, M.A., exercise not only strengthens our heart and lungs, but also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals that energize us and lift our mood. 


The activities you engage in and the daily choices you make affect the way you feel physically and emotionally. Here are some tips that will aide your emotional and mental health. 
  • Get enough rest. To have good mental and emotional health, it’s important to take care of your body. That includes getting enough sleep. Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep each night in order to function optimally.
  • Learn about good nutrition and practice it. The subject of nutrition is complicated and not always easy to put into practice. But the more you learn about what you eat and how it affects your energy and mood, the better you can feel.
  • Exercise to relieve stress and lift your mood. Exercise is a powerful antidote to stress, anxiety, and depression. Look for small ways to add activity to your day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going on a short walk. To get the most mental health benefits, aim for 30 minutes or more of exercise per day.
  • Get a dose of sunlight every day. Sunlight lifts your mood, so try to get at least 10 to 15 minutes of sun per day. This can be done while exercising, gardening, or socializing.
  • Limit alcohol and avoid cigarettes and other drugs. These are stimulants that may unnaturally make you feel good in the short term, but have long-term negative consequences for mood and emotional health. 
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