The last couple of weeks, we’ve heard from Dr. Fine about the key role that diet, exercise, and weight loss play in our good health. We continue the series this week in “How to Stay Out of the Doctor’s Office – Part 4”. This week, Dr. Fine stresses the importance of maintaining good mental health, and how our mental health is deeply connected to physical health outcomes. Read below for Dr. Fine’s recommendations on the importance of maintaining a balance in your life that contributes to excellent mental health.
Stay out of the doctor’s office by maintaining good mental health! We live in such a stressful world now that everybody, especially in the United States, seems to be overworking. This comes at the expense of your family time, your free time, alone time, and time with friends. To live a happy, healthy life and stay out of the doctor’s office, you need to maintain your mental health. Find a balance and make priorities for yourself.
It’s essential to get a little bit of exercise, some time to yourself to reflect, and some time so you can think about who and what really matters in your life. You also need time with family and friends. Everyone needs a support system so they can discuss anything that’s on their mind and alleviate stress.
These tactics have been shown to implement a better balance in your life: exercise and meditation. Meditation, where you close your eyes and take some slow, deep breaths and feel the rise and fall of your
breath, has been shown to make you feel more relaxed. Meditate in between meetings at work, first thing in the morning, or at the end of the day. Meditation lowers your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure.As for exercise, many people enjoy yoga or a daily walk. These little habits add up to better mental health.
Addressing mental health challenges is also important. The more mental health challenges you have, the more physical health challenges you’ll have. We see a lot of this in practice.
If you have a mental health condition, you may need to talk to your doctor. If you have undiagnosed or untreated anxiety, depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (or any other mental health issue), you’ll want to get help, whether that means medication or therapy. All the research says that a balance of both medication and therapy is most helpful. You don’t need to necessarily get stuck on a medication or in counseling forever for you to get lasting improvements.
One of the best ways to treat and prevent depression and anxiety is maintaining your network of family and friends and keeping in touch with people – getting out there and participating in fun activities socially. Remember — regardless of what kind of shape you’re in physically, you’re mental health plays a dramatic part in how much you’re likely to be prone to physical illness. There’s a huge correlation.