Maintaining Mental Health

These days, people can expect to live longer, healthier and more independent lives than in past generations. We are constantly learning strategies to promote “successful aging” and maintaining mental health is a critical piece of this goal. Without good mental health, physical illnesses are worsened, relationships are damaged and quality of life is greatly diminished.

There are many ways to safeguard mental health. Good mental health practices involve a blend of emotional, attitudinal, intellectual, spiritual and physical practices.

The following are tips for enhancing mental health:

  • Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, eat right, exercise and see a doctor regularly. Keep your mind active and exercised through learning new things, reading and interacting with others regularly.
  • Know when to reach out for help. Ask for help when life seems overwhelming or difficult. This is a quality of a mentally healthy person. Identify someone you would go to for help in the future.
  • Practice stress management strategies. Identify what soothes and comforts you. Learn relaxation techniques and interact with supportive friends and family members.
  • Spend time with at least one friend with whom you can confide. Obtain social support, care and concern from others. Love is an energizing force that is beneficial to your mental and physical health.
  • Nurture your soul Take time for spiritual practice, prayerful reflection, meditation or serene solitude. This can really help you cope with life’s challenges. It’s also important to learn how to forget the hurts, forgive the wrongs and let go of burdens of your past or present.
  • Participate in a regular activity that’s fun, relaxing or creative. Take time to play, laugh and participate in creative activities. These can enhance your ability to enjoy life and maintain a positive attitude.
  • Identify and celebrate your successes. Acknowledge and affirm your success. It’s beneficial to name (or even list) the positive elements and people in your life.