We’re very aware of the importance of maintaining our physical health by eating well, exercising, getting additional nutrients through quality supplements, getting enough sleep and more. But mental and emotional health are just as important. Whenever possible, doing what we can to prevent something is easier than treating it.

Here are a few simple strategies for mental and emotional wellbeing:

  1. Spend time with others. We’re social beings. Isolating ourselves can definitely ensure we get more done, but it’s not without a price. Spending time with others gives us time to connect, bond, share and more. It also gives us the opportunity to show compassion, empathy and just laugh with others. So while we may not prioritize it as often as we need to, social interaction is a component of good mental health.
  2. Train your brain. Keep your brain active and healthy. If the last time you read a book was in high school, I’m talking to you. If reading isn’t your thing, anything that causes you to think, do or try something different will work. One of the best ways to preserve your brain health is to challenge it each day.
  3. Take time for yourself. Between work, family, maintaining a home along with any other commitments you have, it can be challenging to find personal time. Nevertheless, spend a little time each day doing something that you enjoy. Even if it’s just sitting alone with a cup of coffee in the morning. While social activity is important, a little solitude is important, too.
  4. Spend time with positive people. Your thoughts, attitudes, and expectations mirror those of the people around you. By spending time with positive people, you’ll be more positive, too. Who are you spending your time with?
  5. Do work that you enjoy. Besides sleep, you spend more time working than you do on any other single activity. If your job makes you miserable, your emotional health is sure to suffer. Is your work rewarding and fulfilling? If you’re only doing that job for the financial reward, is there anything about it that would make the tasks you’re doing more enjoyable?
  6. Get involved. Share your time and yourself with causes and communities that inspire you. Helping others floods your body with healing hormones and chemicals that help us heal. And, helping others simply feels good.
  7. Spend more time doing things you love to do. What makes you happy? Spend more time doing it. Do you love animals, nature, sports? How can you not be happier if you spend more time doing things that make you happy?
  8. Get sufficient sleep. Sleep is necessary for good health, both physical and mental. Your ability to manage stress, make smart decisions, and regulate your emotions are dependent on getting enough sleep.
  9. Have a compelling future. For your emotional health to be at its best, you need something to look forward to. It can be a short range plan or a long range one but having something to look forward to gives us something to look forward to and be excited about. It doesn’t matter what it is, but you need something in the future that makes you smile when you think of it.

Give your mental health as much attention as you do your physical health (and, if you’re not giving your physical health much attention, let this serve as a reminder to take a few steps towards improving your physical health too.) With good mental health, you’ll be able to better handle the challenges that life throws at you. Of course, get professional help if you need it but most importantly, our emotional health is just as much of a priority as any other type of health we’re seeking.

Dr. Debi, Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute

240: Solo: A Dose of Dr. Debi: Getting Messy in Order to Transform