Six-Part Health Series (Part 3): 10 Things You Can Do For Better *Emotional* Health in 2020

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Reduce stress and reconnect to your body with meditation.

Emotional health impacts your physical health and your overall happiness, yet it is a difficult thing to improve without purpose. The steps to better emotional health will help to bring you calmness and inner peace. This doesn’t mean you won’t ever have a bad day, but it means you will be able to better cope with bad days and fully enjoy the good things in life. 

10 Things You Can Do For Better Emotional Health in 2020

1. Sleep Well

When you aren’t sleeping well, you may become irritated or angry more easily. It also decreases your ability to handle stress. This decrease in coping ability leads to poor emotional health. Over time, it can also impact physical health. 

2. Eat Right

There is evidence that concludes that the food you eat can impact your emotional health. Getting proper nutrients makes you feel good, and this improves mood. Conversely, meals high in unhealthy fats or toxins can make you feel sluggish and depressed. 

3. Exercise Regularly

When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These chemicals reduce anxiety and improve mood functions. They also increase self-esteem. Regular exercise is also good for your physical health and body image. 

4. Meditate Consistently

Any exercise in mindfulness is a benefit to emotional health because it gets us out of our heads and back to a healthy emotional center. If formal meditation is not appealing to you, go for a walk or do some gardening. Anything that keeps the body busy so that the brain can have a break is a positive action. 

5. Connect with Friends or Family

In today’s consumer-driven world, we often are tricked into thinking it is our belongings that give us happiness. This is not true, and it is other people and our connections to them that drive happiness. If you are feeling isolated, reconnect with friends or family to regain your sense of community and support. 

6. Learn to Say No

While some people need to reconnect for emotional health, others need to disconnect. It is okay to say no when asked for help. If you are stretched too thin because you are helping others, learn to say no. You need to practice self-care for a little while and then get back into help mode. 

7. Don’t Judge

Judging others is an unhealthy activity for your emotional health and doesn’t produce any good results. You can’t possibly put yourself into someone else’s shoes, and most of the time, their actions aren’t of any consequence to you. Instead of judging, listen and offer help when you can. 

8. Appreciate the Here and Now

Many of us are constantly trying to improve ourselves. We want to be thinner, richer, and more popular. In reality, what you’ve got right now is underappreciated. You have a life, and you can improve it. Appreciate the present and the future, and your emotions will migrate to a more positive place. 

9. Volunteer to Improve Your Emotional Health

Helping others improves your emotional health because it feels good and you are no longer focused on your own stress. Volunteering is a pro-social way to help others that builds connections and yields happy results. 

10. Take Time for Yourself

Taking time for yourself does not mean wasting time watching television. It means investing your time in a hobby or event that will make you feel like you again. If this means a spa day, great. If it means finishing a project, even better. Taking time for yourself means prioritizing yourself, so you don’t feel like you’ve been run over by life. 

These 10 steps are pretty straightforward, and if you invest some time on each of them, you are surely going to improve your emotional health. Not only will you experience less extreme emotions, but you’ll be a happier person with a renewed sense of calm. 

For more help with improving your emotional help, check out Avidity Medical Design Academy’s course entitled, “How to Prevent Medical Conditions Caused By TOXIC People in Your Life (and Be Healthier!)

Six-Part Health Series (Part 2): 10 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health in 2020

It is easy for us to concentrate on our physical health when we see problems. If we are starting to gain more weight, we can watch what we eat more carefully. If we have the flu, we can see our doctor and help to curb some of the symptoms. It is a lot harder for us to recognize when our mental health is suffering. However, our mental health is just as important, and can actually impact our physical health. 

Our mental health affects our daily lives by influencing how we feel, think, and even how we behave. So often, we think that mental health only refers to a person that is experiencing a mental illness. In actuality, we all need to concentrate on our mental health to protect the positive characteristics that help us to thrive in today’s world.  

Here are 10 ways that you can start to protect your mental health in 2020:

1. Find a Therapist

When we get a physical illness, we see our doctor. Adding a behavioral health expert to your team can help you to maximize your mental health and find ways that work for you to deal with stress in daily living.

2. Set Boundaries

Learning to say “No” is an important skill for your mental well being. Decide what is most important to you and use that knowledge to prioritize requests from others. Determine what to delegate or negotiate when you are asked to commit your time and energy to something that isn’t important to you.

3. Spend Time in Nature

Connecting with nature helps our bodies to relax and appreciate the world around us. So, find some time to get outside and let your mind and body recharge.

4. Laugh Out Loud

Have you noticed how often kids laugh out loud? Now, think about the last time that you allowed yourself the same outlet. Humor is a great stress reliever, and the physical action of laughing out loud makes the perfect mind and body connection.

5. Give Yourself a Pep Talk

Have you noticed that the voice in your head is a lot more critical to you than you would ever be to a friend of yours? Learning to be more positive in our self-talk is an important skill in mental health. Check out this Ted Talk video on how to improve positive thinking

6. Be Grateful for What is Going Well in Your Life

Taking time to appreciate the positives in our lives is another important skill. At the end of each day, take a moment to list 3 things that you are grateful for today.

7. Connect with Others

applying the ARCS model of learning avidity medical design

Make time to keep in touch with people who are special to you. A phone call to chat with someone can change your mental outlook.

8. Take a Daily Break

Start a pattern of taking a daily break to recharge. This can be anything from doing meditation to singing out loud in the car or taking some time to read a book. Look for something that will fit into your day and break up the pattern of building stress.

9. Get More Sleep

Making sleep, nutrition, and exercise a priority in your life is another building block to positive mental health. 

10. Try Something New

When you find it hard to motivate yourself to work on your mental health, try to do something completely new for you. Your mind will kick into overdrive by concentrating on learning this new activity. Trying something new can change your daily routine for the better.

The mind and body connection is an important bond for all of us. Taking time to work on protecting your mental health is an important step in your well-being. To learn more about different health subjects, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

Six-Part Health Series (Part 1): 10 Things You Can Do for Better *Physical* Health in 2020

Physical health is important in order to have a happy and fulfilling life. The choices we make can help to enhance our physical health. This year, instead of making a strict resolution you won’t be able to keep, try to do these 10 simple things for better physical health in 2020.

1. Get Outdoors

Getting outdoors isn’t just about being physically active, but that is one of the benefits. When you are outdoors, you also get sunlight. The benefits of sunlight include boosting the body’s vitamin D levels, which helps the body to use calcium and can improve the immune system.

2. Exercise More

Most of us have inactive occupations and spend a lot of time at a desk or counter. This is why formal exercise is crucial to cultivating better physical health. You should get 30 minutes a day for cardiovascular health. A brisk walk is enough to keep your heart rate at an optimal level, but a variety of intense versus moderate exercise will yield the best results. 

3. Drink More Water

Getting enough water is important for physical health because our bodies are made up of mostly water. There are many benefits to drinking a healthy amount of water, which is approximately 3 liters a day. Without enough water, you could become dehydrated, which makes you feel fatigued and ill. 

4. Eat Fresh Vegetables

Vegetables are full of vitamins and fiber, and they are low in calories. This means the inclusion of more vegetables in your diet will aid in weight control and ensure that your body is getting proper nutrients. 

5. Wear Quality Shoes

When you think of physical health, pain is a common topic. People in physical health are able to move freely, and their bones and joints aren’t stiff. Quality shoes can do a lot to maintain physical health by improving gait and providing adequate support. 

6. Do Some Physical Stretching

Stretching improves mobility, reduces soreness, and improves blood flow. It may help reduce the risk of injury, and it feels good to loosen up tight muscles and get your blood circulating.

7. Include Fiber Supplements in Your Diet

Physical health involves being able to move freely inside and out, and getting enough fiber will keep your bodily functions regular and prevent disease. Fiber will make you feel full longer, so it also aids in weight control. One way that you can add more fiber into your diet is by including Benefiber. For adults, adding two teaspoons of Benefiber three times daily, into your coffee in the morning, or adding some Benefiber to your juice, soda, salad, or soup, is an easy way to get more fiber into your diet. For children ages 6 to 11, you would use half the recommended dose. If you are pregnant or nursing, you would need to consult your physician before adding Benefiber to your diet. You can also buy a box of Benefiber On The Go packets, and keep a few packets of Benefiber On The Go in your purse or in your wallet, and sprinkle it into your food or drink if you happen to be dining out, to make sure you’re including fiber in your diet, even if you happen to be away from home.

8. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Getting enough sleep, and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule by getting up and going to bed around the same time each night (including on weekends), reduces stress on the body and allows your body to repair itself. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and can help in weight loss. 

9. Invest in Ergonomics

Part of maintaining physical health is simply being nice to your body. Use it properly, and it will work better. This means investing in quality beds and chairs, and it means sitting correctly at the computer. Ergonomics can play a large role in creating better physical health practices. 

10. End Unhealthy Habits

Lastly, don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. There are a few other unhealthy habits out there that could be included on this list, but you get the gist of it. These things do damage to the body, and you cannot be physically healthy while engaging in any of these behaviors. 

Physical Health = Happiness

People who want to be happy typically include physical health in part of that happiness. Improving physical health involves behavioral change, and these 10 things can put you on the path to success. 

Plate of healthy food

5 Health Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a New Diet

Plate of healthy food

You’ve heard about this great new diet, and it’s promising real results. You hope this diet will work, after having tried so many others before it, and you’re thinking about trying it out, just to see what it’s all about. Before you try out your new diet, one that may or may not work, ask yourself these 5 important questions to make sure that the diet is safe, and to make sure it’s the right diet for you.

1. Does your new diet eliminate certain food groups?

When you start to review the details of your new diet, ask yourself this question: Does the diet require you to eliminate a specific food group, or does it require you to add more of a certain food group? The majority of diets have you eliminating carbs and sugar. At first, this seems like a great solution and you might see quick results when you eliminate breads, sweets, cereals, etc. The problem is that, even after just one month, your body is going to start to react to this change and approach it’s nutrition like it’s in starvation mode. It’s going to take its store of sugars from your muscles and your liver and then it’s going to tell your digestive system to hold as much sugar as possible because you are depriving your body of this component. Now you will start to gain weight as your body starts making more fat. Instead, look for a diet that includes a well-rounded mix of the vital nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy.

2. Does your new diet promise that you only need to make a temporary change?

Does your new diet give you a way to change your eating plan for a short time, and then promises that you can return to your normal eating pattern after you lose the weight? You’ll have short-term “success” for about 6-8 weeks, and then when you go back to your normal way of eating, you will most likely gain all of the weight back, and possibly gain additional weight, as your body tries to adjust to the rapid changes. Instead, look for a diet that teaches you how to eat for life with healthy results. Consider a diet that includes more fruits and vegetables. To learn more about this type of diet, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!),

3. Is it one size fits all?

Most plans are designed for a woman approximately 5’4″ who does moderate exercise. If you don’t fall into this category (i.e., if you are taller or shorter, or if you do more or less exercise, or if you are a man, etc.), you may not achieve the results you want. Instead, look for a diet that teaches you how to modify the plan to fit your specific characteristics.

4. Can I dine out?

Does your new diet allow you to eat out and still make good food choices that will fit into the diet? If not, you have 2 options: a) don’t eat out anymore; or b) go off the diet each time you are going out to lunch or dinner. Neither answer is going to help you stay on the diet long term. Instead, look for a diet that teaches you the skills to choose foods on the menu that fit into your new diet permanently.

5. Do you have to buy special foods or special drinks to stay on the diet?

It may be easy to choose a diet that gives you exactly what you need to eat in the exact portions. You may get a shake that has everything you need to replace a meal, or you may get snacks and supplements to help you stay on the diet. Unless you are prepared to purchase these items for the rest of your life, you increase the chances of failing on your new diet and regaining the weight, when you try to go back to foods that you can buy on your own. Instead, look for a diet that uses a meal plan that you can shop for in your local supermarket.

Before you begin a new diet, ask your doctor for advice on choosing the right diet, especially if you have one or more medical conditions that may need to be closely monitored, or that may be affected by starting a new diet, especially a diet that requires you to eliminate or add certain food groups. By checking with your doctor first, you can develop a comfortable long-term eating plan that balances your unique medical and nutritional needs with a plan for long-term success in terms of taking the weight off and keeping it off. 

For more informative articles on many different healthcare subjects, visit the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

To take an online healthcare course, such as “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!),” visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.