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SOLUTIONS: Things You Need to Know about Mental Health and Wellness
Do you find yourself struggling, in pain, or simply in a funk?
Do you wonder what would be helpful in taking care of yourself at this time?
Ups and downs are part of life and we all feel stressed at times. These things can take a toll on us and make us struggle to balance different needs and obligations. Most of us could use a little help in finding balance getting what our mind and bodies need. There is a wealth of information out there regarding how we should take care of ourselves. How do we know what is best? It is hard to sift through the information and know where to start, what to try, and if it will even work. That’s where we come in.
Our team at Solutions 4 Wellness is working, from our respective backgrounds, which include professional orientations ion psychology, social work, nursing, specialty extended study and application of a variety of cutting edge, effective techniques based on the latest findings from neuroscience to provide insight. We want to share what we have found that is available, even if it is not common yet. We have been discovering that most people don’t have the latest information on what is currently helping people in the way of mental well-being and so we want to share what we are finding. We don’t want to watch people suffer and remain in pain, when there are effective tools and techniques that can help shift mindset, thoughts, feelings, and attitudes.
Take the example of seat belts. Not all that long ago, wearing seat belts was not viewed as a healthy or a life sustaining habit. Now most all of us wear them and more recent generations do not even know that there was even a time when people did not wear seatbelts. Similarly the gym was not considered as necessity or common place in physical well-being in the past, nor was bloodwork and regular physicals at the doctor’s office deemed appropriate to help prevent disease. We want to help others understand the importance of their mental well-being in ways that are understandable, useful and able to be applied.
The information may be useful to anyone with a brain (all of us!) and some may be more pointed and helpful to ages and stages of life, such as parents, kids, new parents or maybe those in the life of retirement. In addition there may be information more directed to specific issues, such as relationships, as this is one of my most requested and favorite areas to focus on. In reality, we are all in relationships, some more aligned and some not working as effectively, with all that we intersect with in life such as intimate, family, career, friendship, finances, health, and environment. We may provide insight on a topic that affects many of us that we have very little understanding of. We hope to provide education on how the mind and the body are connected and the important role physical health plays in mental health. We hope to be able to answer questions surrounding mental health and bust some of the myths that are out there. We simply want the information to be nothing but beneficial to your well-being. So let’s get started!
A Healthy Mind: What we know that helps us feel good and do well: (Part one of two)
Most of us are aware of the USDA’s food guidance and recommendations. The food pyramid was used dating back to 1992 and in more recent times such as in 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated and changed the recommendations for healthy food from a pyramid to what is referred to as My Plate. According to the research, the USDA’s recommendations on healthy eating dates back to 1916 and has went through a number of revisions. (1) Keeping in line with the updated USDA food pyramid, Dr. Dan Siegel (clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine and Executive Director of Mindsight) and Dr. David Rock (Executive Director of the Neuro Leadership Institute) created what is the equivalent of a daily diet for mind and brain health.
Just as My Plate is intended to be a helpful tool to educate and encourage healthy food choices, The Healthy Mind Platter is intended for the promotion of mental health and wellness to combat mental illness. The complex neural circuitry of our brain is influenced by our relationships to all things from ourselves, to others, all the way to the planet, and in need of careful attention to various types of focused activities. The Healthy Mind Platter consists of seven daily activities necessary for optimum mental health and wellness and is based upon current research and the following activities are known to be the most helpful in maintain and improving our mental health and quality of life:
Focus Time, Play Time, Connecting Time, Physical Time, Time In, Down Time, Sleep Time
These daily mental nutrients are considered to be what our brains need to function well. They strengthen our brains internal connections and connections with others and the world around us. Each of us may need a different amount of time for each activity and our needs may change over time but the point is that we all need some of each activity. The goal is that each day we bring the right ingredients to our brains to keep them healthy overall. Not getting enough of one activity, such as sleep, can put us out of balance the same way too much of another activity, such focus time, can put us out of balance.
We can use The Healthy Mind Platter in a similar way to the My Plate approach to healthy eating. We can make a list of each activity and the amount of time we spend in each and use that to find the combinations that work best for each of us. When we vary the focus of attention on different activities, we give our brains the opportunity to develop in strong, positive ways. This tool can be used to help us keep the mental balance that is so important at all stages of life.
According to Dr. Siegel, “The brain is continually changing in response to how we focus attention. We can use our awareness in ways that involve the body and our connections to create a healthy mind across the lifespan! We hope that The Healthy Mind Platter creates an appetite for increasing awareness of how to nourish our mental well-being each day too.”(2)
We will discuss more about the nutrients of The Healthy Mind Platter in the next article so please join us!
Posted by Chris Diesen 5-14-2020
A Healthy Mind: 7 Daily Activities That Can Lead To Feeling Good & Happier, Healthier Relationships (part 2 of 2)
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