Maintaining Your Mental Health
Our physical health and well-beingshould always be an important part of our daily lives. What many people don’t realize that is health is not only physical but also includes our mental state and brain function. May is National Mental Health Month and to help promote this, below you will find some useful information to use to maintain a healthy mental and emotional state. This year's theme is “Mind Your Health.” According to Mental Health America, this year's goals will be to identify the importance of mental health to health and wellness and to inform everyone about the different ways to keep the body and mind interacting with each other.
Mental health encompasses a variety of different areas that assist in your daily brain function. These include emotional and psychological needs and everyone’s physical chemistry. Mental health affects our ability to think, feel and also determines how well we handle stress and day-by-day pressures.Mental health is important at all stages in a person's life and can affect living happy and healthy if not treated properly. In our life we experience many different moods and behaviors that may seem abnormal and unhealthy. However, mental health issues can stem from many experiences such as trauma, illness, violence and a family history of mental health problems that could include altered brain chemistry. Mental health problems are very common and resources are available for assistance. The Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center team has created some tips and tools for you protect your mental health.
Early warning signs
If you are uncertain if someone is experiencing a mental health issue there are many behaviors and mannerisms that you can look out for that may be an early sign of a crisis.
• Notice if the person sleeping or eating habits have drastically changed. Weight gain and loss can be a significant issue in this person's life.
• If they have no or little energy.
• Unexplained or reasonable aches and pains all over their body.
• Excessive smoking, drinking or taking drugs.
• Sever mood swings which may include outbursts or physical violence.
• Hearing voices and believing fake things.
• Losing one's ability to perform normal and daily tasks. Lack of attention towards personal hygiene.
• Threat of imminent harm to yourself or another person.
• Feeling sad all the time.
• Extreme stress and anxiety.
• Uncontrollable behavior and responses.
These are only a few symptoms; there are many more that can be identified as the beginnings of a mental health issue. It is known that one in five adults experience a mental health issue in the United States, with one in ten teenagers experiencing a major depression.
It is important for people with mental health issues to know that there is help for them. Physicianswill be able to identify mental health issues and are available for guidance and support. This of course could be a scary process for the individual but it is usually the first step in the right direction to receive the assistance that the person needs to control the issues. Building a healthy and trustworthy support system is the best way to prevent and control future concerns. Many people are willing to help such as a mental health specialist, parent, family member, teacher, support groups and your local health institution such as Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center.
Keep your body in mind
Food is fuel to for the brain, and in some cases you can be what you eat. All of the foods and drinks you consume determine the types of vitamins and nutrients in your systems and can affect your mental health and function.
• Avoid sugary drinks with excessive amount of calories and caffeine. The caffeine will dehydrate your body and cause mood changes. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. 6-8 glasses a day is the recommended amount of water. If you need something with flavor or caffeine try some tea. Tea has a lower amount of caffeine and includes antioxidants that protect body tissue and prevent cell damage.
• Skipping meals will cause brain fog and migraines .Breakfast lunch and dinner will help provide energy, and prevent depression and underachievement. Plan healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, low fat cheeses and yogurt and whole grain crackers.
• Make sure to feed your brain with mind boosting nutrients and vitamins. This includes Folate, Vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Eating right and exercising will have your brain working on all levels to keep your healthier longer. Exercise will also benefit nearly every part of a person's health and will improve mood and personal strength.
Get plenty of rest
Resting and relaxation could make a difference in your life- sleep helps restore your body's energyand releases good hormones into the blood stream. Depending on your age, our levels of necessary sleep can differ. It is recommended for most people however to receive at least eight hours daily to recharge. If you don’t sleep long enough your body may feel groggy and you may have difficulty concentrating. Sleep can also affect your work and personal life. If you are experiencing any type of sleep disorders, please contact Meadowlands Hospital’s Center for Sleep Medicine to discover your underlying issues with sleep.
If we take the proper steps, identify the warnings signs and seek appropriate treatment, we have the opportunity to be free from mental health issues.At Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center we believe that a healthy brain means a healthy life!