Lifestyle changes and developing coping skills can make a positive and remarkable difference in good mental health and prevention.

The earth spins on its axis at a precise angle. If that angle is off just a fraction, it would render the earth either too hot or cold to be inhabitable. The number of connections in our mind, between each nerve cell, has been compared to the number of stars in the universe. It is a complex, bio-chemical organ, the most delicate and complex thing known on the universe. In it lies the thought process that governs  our emotions, our creativity our hopes, our memories. 

At times, a simple adjustment in our lifestyle can do much to keep our mind’s bio-chemical balance working in harmony and to help keep our minds balanced. There are many natural activities that effect the chemical makeup of our mind.

There is much that naturally raises the level of certain neurotransmitters in our brains, our seretonin and dopamine level, which are known to play a role in both depression and bi-polar disorder, as well as that of ADHD. There are some 30 different neurotransmitters in our brains, so the mind is a complex organ that defies science to unravel all of its mysteries. By following some of these simple suggestions, it can do much to help our minds to be in balance.


1. Exercise -Studies have shown that regular exercise-brisk walking, as an example, can be more effective in treating
depression than medication, both in the treatment of the depression, as well as the recurrence rate.
2. Love -Love has been described as the best medicine. Not everyone has the benefit of having been raised in loving environment. There is a scripture that says, "there is more happiness in giving than in receiving." By using our lives purposefully, for the purpose of helping others, then our life has more value. By giving of ourselves to others, it helps us to be part of the circle of love.
3. Television, movies and video games. Excessive time spent watching television, or other forms of media can have an effect on our mental health. There is much in the way of violence in
children’s programming. Most movies and cartoons have at least some violence. One study reveals that in 1996, 8 out of 10 Saturday morning children’s cartoon characters were violent. The evening news, as well, has elements of violence, and at times, this can effect the emotional balance of some. Some have commented that regularly watching the news contributes to depression.

The rapid fire pace of television and commercials can cause an overload on our senses, our brains and with it the delicate balance of the chemicals that have a role in our emotions.  "We can get to the point where we have seen so much violence, that we no longer recognize it as violence," one book on the subject stated.

Many movies are entertaining, but also, stir up emotions to highs and lows, that for some, can contribute to depression or other imbalances in our mood. These can be contributing factors in depression, anxieties, ADHD, OCD and bipolar disorder and for other mental health problems as well.

Some adults are more sensitive emotionally than others and this is true of children as well. For a person with a sensitive disposition, or if he or she has been through any sort of trauma in their life either in the present or past, cutting back on media time and intensity can be of help.

Focusing on positive things can help also. Try reading to keep up on the news, rather than watching the television news. It is gentler on the mind, and we can be more selective. Try to avoid dwelling on the violent or sensational, make a deliberate choice to focus on the positive.

4.  Art can be a natural mood stabilizer for some, as well as contribute to healing of the mind.  It can help some to build self-esteem and, like reading, it can be a mind-strengthening exercise.

One man who said that the news depressed him, and decided to do without his TV. Instead, he cultivated his natural talent in art and produced literally hundreds of works of fine art in a five year period, selling many of them commercially, something he had been doing previously for recreation. Art can  have a healing effect on the mind, giving it rest, and help a person  to build self-respect, something vital for good mental health.
5. Spirituality and Prayer -There is a physical, biological, genetic side to our lives, to our personalities and our moods. There is also a psychological, emotional and spiritual side of our psyche. All of these come into play in determining both our moods and our mental health. Attention to our spiritual needs is a vital component of our mental well-being. Ignoring those needs or damaging the spiritual and emotional side of our psyche can contribute to symptoms of mental health disorders, especially if the damage is significant.

Prayer: Praying for help, praying for a sound and healthy mind, praying for peace in one’s mind, can be an effective tool in combating mental health difficulties.
6. Spend time in the outdoors. Try to stay away from canned, prepackaged entertainment and spend time with nature.
"Green therapy" can be one effective way to find inner peace, and quiet down our minds, find refreshment and break free from negative or circular thinking.
7. Avoid isolating yourself. Being part of a community, an organization that gives support and meets regularly can do much to help a person get through crises and to help to keep positive. Being part of a community that does good for other people, gives one a sense of sharing and fulfillment, which can contribute to good mental health.
8. Give balanced attention to a healthful diet. A diet high in sugar and fat can contribute to a weak body and a weak mind. Most breakfast cereals are filled with sugar, as are sodas. ice Try to go vegetarian as much as possible and cut out alcohol from your diet.  Avoid
smoking. Do your best to quit smoking if you are smoking now, it constricts blood vessels in the brain and can have a role in one’s mental health.

Children need to eat three meals a day. A healthy breakfast daily is essential. Many children who suffer from depression or ADHD might skip breakfast. For some sensitive children, school breakfast of FruitLoops and other sugary cereals, sugary muffins, or Pop-Tarts, which can be a typical school breakfast, along with juice and/or milk, isn’t what one would call "brain food". It is quite the opposite.

Both schools and parents need to give careful thought to providing children with healthful meals, snacks and breakfasts. It can make a big difference in a child’s or teen’s mental health. Some children who have been diagnosed with mental disorders, have been noted to skip both breakfast and lunch. It is something that doctors can also take note of before giving recommendations for drugs for children and teens.

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For persons with mental health difficulties, doing without alcohol, drugs, and high caffeine can be helpful. Alcohol is a depressant and can contribute to both depression and bipolar disorder. For many who have an addictive personality, it is better to do without completely, than to try to "handle it". For the vast majority who have any type of mental health disorder, doing without alcohol as a way of life, is the best course and course of wisdom.

10. Avoid pornography. The sexual stimulation of pornography without a real partner can be pleasurable for the moment, but it also can contribute to an emotional emptiness which can lead to or contribute to symptoms that are evident in depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, as well as other mental health disorders. Also, sexual promiscuity can lead to depression or contribute towards other mental health difficulties. Truly satisfying sexual relations fill both physical and emotional needs, that is our sex partner should also be a life-partner who is there to support and show love the next day and the next year as well.
11. Try to find activities that build self-esteem. Learn to play a
musical instrument such as the piano or violin. Stick with it. This is especially helpful for children. One 13-year-old with ADHD said that playing the piano helped her to develop self-esteem at a time when she had no friends.

Art also builds self-esteem in a similar way. Children, teens, and even adults benefit from art. Art can be helpful in overcoming addictions, in calming the mind naturally, and in building self-esteem. When one sees a work of art that they have created, it helps them to realize and is a constant reminder that they have worth. There are many ways that self-esteem develop, and it is an important part of healing.

Those who are families of persons with mental health disorders need to remember to show approval of the child, teen or adult who has a mental health disorder, in other words keep a positive attitude and don’t give up. Don’t berate, ridicule. This contributes to low self-esteem which can perpetuate feelings of self-loathing. This is true for those with a tendency towards eating disorders as well. Show love and approval to children and teens especially.

12. Sharpen the Saw:  There are many ways we can sharpen the saw.  Reading the Bible every day is one way to regain our strength. It can help to calm the mind. It helps one to feel at peace and can be a strengthening aid and anchor if one is going through crises or has mental health disorders. Give attention to spiritual needs on a daily basis. Spending time outdoors helps with both depression, bipolar disorder and ADHD, as well as really, all mental health disorders. It has been dubbed "Green Therapy," as effective in many cases as are medicines, with no side effects. Wise persons "sharpen the saw".
13. Try to keep an active mind through reading. Reading can be  a mentally strengthening activity, especially if we focus on positive and upbuilding material. Subscribe to some positive magazines, picture magazines, or subscribe to these for your children.

14. Purpose in life and work:

Have an active role in helping children, the elderly, handicapped, underprivileged persons or others. Volunteer part of your time for a worthy purpose. By take time to help others in a genuine loving way, it helps to develop positive qualities and give our life meaning and purpose. Finding secular work in teaching, in a day care center or in volunteering with needy children is something that can help us to give and to take our mind off of ourselves and whatever problems we might have.  It can also be of value in avoiding isolation and integrating with other people. In line with this, sometimes a change of jobs can help to overcome mental health battles, something that has more of a direct connection in helping people.
15. Music. Try to listen to mellow music. Much music is supercharged, electric and throbbing. The constant mental stimulation can result in mental overload. Much alternative music can be depressing or elicit feelings of emptiness. Rock and roll, heavy metal,  and other "heavy" sounds, can send our minds to  highs and lows, which can effect the chemical balance of our minds.

Developing a taste for lighter music, gentler and more diversified sounds, as well as keeping watch on the amount of time we spend with music that is intense, can help us to keep a positive flow of emotions uninterrupted in our minds. Avoid the depression, try to keep it positive. This is especially true if we are the kind of person who "lives" every note. Some might listen to music passively, others get emotionally involved. These are the types of persons who need to consider changes and adaptions in musical habits, if they are suffering with mental health disorders.
16. Get organized, avoid procrastination, get help in keeping one’s home and possessions clean. Get rid of clutter. If its been there for more than a year, it probably isn’t necessary. Getting on top of one’s bills and financial life also is of help. Sometimes professional services can be of help in this area.

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