Clearly, mental health has a major influence on the quality of life, physical health,
and health care costs. Mood disorders, anxiety, psychosis, and many other mental
health conditions are major sources of unhappiness and disability. To prevent mental
health problems and enhance mental well-being there are some things we can’t
do, like ensuring warm and caring parents or altering our genetic propensity to mental
problems, and many things we don’t fully understand, such as how to prevent
psychosis in those at high risk.
But there are things under our control that we can do to foster good mental health.
They include avoiding misuse of drugs and alcohol, getting enough exercise, employment
of relaxation techniques, getting enough sleep, staying socially and physically
active, and socially connected. The Harvard Mastery of Stress Study identified
additional factors that predicted healthy physical and psychological aging that
we can influence through our own behavior: having a stable marriage, being well
educated, maintaining a healthy weight, and employing mature adaptations to life
It would be wonderful if all of us were happy and mentally healthy all of the time,
but this is not the situation for most of us. You should not hesitate to seek professional
help from a reputable well-trained health care provider when any form of
mental illness occurs.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.