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May 2010 - Live Your Life Well

REFERRAL CORNER: Live Your Life Well

Since 1949, the Mental Health America (formerly the National Mental Health Association) has billed the month of May as “Mental Health Month.” Their aim is to promote health and wellness, informing those who think positive mental health is unattainable. This year they have created a “Live Your Life Well” campaign to raise awareness about the impact of stress on one’s physical and mental wellbeing. With so many people suffering with stress and anxiety in our culture, this program introduces 10 simple, research-based tools available to make life feel better.

With a new website promoting this message, MHA offers 10 proven tools that can “help you feel stronger and more hopeful.” The 10 tools are:

  1. Connect with others
  2. Stay positive
  3. Get physically active
  4. Help others
  5. Get enough sleep
  6. Create joy and satisfaction
  7. Eat well
  8. Take care of your spirit
  9. Deal better with hard times

10.  Get professional help if you need it

MHA cites research studies on the value of each suggestion. Specifically regarding tip #2, they note data that shows that people who regularly focus on the positive in their lives are less upset by painful memories. Referring to #6, they note that positive emotions can boost one’s ability to bounce back from stress. Tip #8 is rooted in studies that show how spirituality may cut down stress that contributes to physical ailments.

MHA also offers tips on adding these tools to your life including keep track of changes, be gentle to yourself when you fail, and reward yourself when you make improvements. The program recommends that people focus on one or two tools at a time, consider scheduling these changes as if they are regular appointments on a calendar, and seeking support from friends and family.

For more information, visit MHA’s Live Your Life Well website at http://www.liveyourlifewell.org/

-Edited by Stacy Notaras Murphy

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