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What is Mental Health?

Mental health is our emotional, psychological and social well-being.  How we deal with stress, interact with others and our ability to make healthy choices is affected by our mental health.  What is physical health?  Physical health is the state of being free from illness or injury.  Much of what we do physically impacts us mentally – paying attention to your physical and mental health can help us attain overall wellness and set you on a path to recovery.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  We need to raise awareness about the connection between physical health and mental health.  A healthy lifestyle can help prevent the onset of worsening of mental health conditions, as well as chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help people recover from these conditions. For those dealing with a chronic health condition and the people who care for them, it can be especially important to focus on mental health. When dealing with dueling diagnoses, focusing on both physical and mental health concerns can be daunting – but critically important in achieving overall wellness.

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"Finding a reason to laugh, going for a walk with a friend, meditating, playing with a pet, or working from home once a week can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy."

A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, there are things you can do that may help. Finding a reason to laugh, going for a walk with a friend, meditating, playing with a pet, or working from home once a week can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy. The company of animals – whether as pets or service animals— can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life and ability to recover from illnesses. A pet can be a source of comfort and can help us to live mentally healthier lives. And whether you go to church, meditate daily, or simply find time to enjoy that cup of tea each morning while checking in with yourself – it can be important to connect with your spiritual side in order to find that mind-body connection.

We want everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is always the goal. Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes. Finding the balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, physical health and mental health, can help you on the path towards focusing both.  For more information, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.

Miriam Hinther, LPN
Guest Contributor