But, I needed more information on the subject. And, of course, I immediately went to GOOGLE.
What I Know Now and Didn’t Not Know Before
There is a clear difference between mental health and mental illness. According to a report in 2011 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Mental Health is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.
- Mental Illness is defined as collectively all diagnosable mental disorders or health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning.
The report further states “that only 17% of U.S. adults are considered to be in a state of optimal mental health.”
Could I Be Among the 17% with Optimal Mental Health?
I am not sure. But, I am following a path which I hope will eventually lead to Optimal Mental Health by way of:
- Healthy Eating “recent evidence suggests that good nutrition is essential for our mental health and that a number of mental health conditions may be influenced by dietary factors. (Mental Health Foundation)
- Reading “a growing number of therapists are recommending something surprising for depressed and anxious patients. Read a book. This treatment is called bibliotherapy. (Reading Your Way to Health, Wall Street Journal, July 23,2007)
- Exercise “Depression symptoms often improves with exercise. When you have anxiety or depression, exercise often seems like the last thing you want to do. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference.” (Mayo Clinic)
- Meditation “Making meditation a part of your life can lead to lower levels of stress and anxiety and a greater level of personal connectedness.” (National Alliance on Mental Health)
- Quality Sleep Habits “Getting a good night’s sleep is important for maintaining our mental and physical health. Sleep allows the brain to take in new information and strengthen our memories. The quality of your sleep can have a significant impact on your mood, energy level and ability to concentrate. It can affect your work, cause relationship problems and make it difficult to complete simple tasks. Sleep can also affect our mental wellbeing, immune system, and other health-related issues. It is crucial to our health that we learn to sleep well.” (Mental Health Foundation & Sleepio)
- Massages “Physiological, psychological, environmental and genetic factors also have a profound effect on the development of ones mental health. Repressed trauma, chronic stress, physical illness, childhood and hereditary issues may cause poor mental health. Massage therapy has been used for centuries to help individuals overcome some of these problems. (Massage for Your Health)
I have incorporated all of the above; and, I have no doubt that in doing so I have improved the overall quality of my life.
Physically, I still have health issues: Breast Cancer Survivor, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Sleep Apnea, and Peripheral Neuropathy/Lower Extremity.
But, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally I am in a good place.