MIND YOUR HEALTH



By Joy Adamonis

Walk into any gym nowadays and you will surely see women of all ages tending to their physical health. Maybe you like to sweat up a storm on the elliptical, crush a cross-fit class or perhaps a leisurely walk is more your speed. No one can argue that moving for 30 minutes per day is one of the best ways to stay healthy. However, the number on the scale and your outward appearance shouldn’t be the only thing that determines your overall health. Mental health is just as important as getting in your daily exercise and eating right.



According to Mental Health America (MHA), women are at a 40% higher chance of developing a mental illness as opposed to men. Mental illnesses should not be classified as a “normal women thing”. Hormonal challenges, chemical imbalances, pregnancy and trauma are just some of the issues that can affect a woman’s mental health. Mental health supports our ability to have healthy relationships, maintain physical health & well being, handle everyday ups & downs of life and so much more. Mental health affects how we think, feel and act.

“To be healthy as a whole, mental health must play a role” Unknown Source



If you feel yourself becoming overly anxious, stressed or depressed, talk to your doctor. Together, you can find a path that works best for you. You might also find self-care to be a great asset for mental health management. Yoga, coloring, controlled breathing and meditation has all been proven to help combat the effects of stress and anxiety. Coping with our own mental wellness in a more mindful way can have a positive influence in every aspect of our lives.

Yoga



Practicing simple yoga postures is a great way to alleviate the pressures we face as women. Yoga can help you calm down, improve sleep and boost your over-all sense of well-being; all are great coping mechanisms for handling stress & anxiety. Yoga guides you into a relaxed state and helps trigger stress receptors; but in a positive way.

Coloring



Research has shown that coloring is a therapeutic activity, known to reduce stress and provide you with a sense of calm. You don’t need to be an artist to obtain the benefits; so get doodling or coloring. The choice is yours. Who knew our favorite rainy day activity as kids was so beneficial to our health?

Controlled Breathing



Learning the art of controlled breathing is a great stress-relieving tool. Taking deep, slow breaths can slow down your body’s natural response to stress. Pair this with a quiet meditation and you will benefit deeply. When you are stressed, you tend to have a higher heart rate, higher blood pressure and might feel jittery. Meditation can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure and help you feel like you are once again in control.

Annual physicals are nothing out of the norm for most of us. The same should be said about our mental health. Mental health plays a pivotal role in keeping our physical health in check, as there is a mind and body connection. The next time you experience some undue mental strain, remember proper self-care and your doctor can help. We must end the stigma that mental illness is a sign of weakness, for it is not. We should see the person, and not the illness.



Joy Adamonis is a local freelance writer & blogger. She is a devoted mom & wife who enjoys living an active lifestyle. Running and yoga has transformed her life and helped maintain her 75-pound weight-loss. She advocates for positive body image, mental illness awareness and better education. Read more from Joy @ www.mysensationalkid.com

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