Wellness goes beyond routine visits to your doctor, staying fit and maintaining a healthy diet. It refers to overall well-being, including a balance among physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, occupational, behavioral, and spiritual health that gives us the ability to feel good about ourselves and enjoy our lives.
Each aspect of wellness can affect a person’s overall quality of life. That’s why it’s important to work toward achieving optimal health in each area.
Mental Health America offers 10 useful tips for living a full, enjoyable life:
- Connect with others. Spend more time with family members and friends, and develop new relationships by taking classes, doing volunteer work or joining a club that interests you.
- Stay positive. Learn to avoid negative thought patterns and focus on feeling grateful for the positive things in your life.
- Be physically active. Strive for 30 minutes of daily moderate aerobic activity, and squeeze in additional exercise by playing with your children or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Help others. In addition to looking for volunteer opportunities, do little things like smiling at a stranger or holding the elevator for a co-worker.
- Get enough sleep. Being tired and low on energy affects every aspect of your life.
- Create joy and satisfaction. Read humorous books, do something you enjoyed as a child, or treat yourself to a massage.
- Eat well. Choose a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins while minimizing saturated fats, salt and added sugars.
- Take care of your spirit. Join a religious institution, pray regularly, or learn to meditate. Look for the good in yourself and others.
- Deal better with hard times. When you have an upsetting experience, try writing about it to organize your thoughts. When faced with a problem, make a list of possible solutions and consider the merits of each.
- Get professional help if you need it. Use our guidelines and resources to find a mental health professional that can help you deal with whatever issues you’re facing, and start feeling better.
Pursuing overall wellness can help people cope with mental health challenges, making life more enjoyable and in some cases, even lengthening it.
Speak up. Ask for help, and get on the path to true wellness.