We eat healthfully to maintain our ideal weight. We exercise to achieve good cardiovascular health. We brush and floss to prevent cavities, apply lotion to reduce sun damage, and buckle our seat belts to keep us safe while driving.

I’d offer that, just as it’s important to nourish and protect ourselves physically, it’s equally important to protect ourselves mentally and emotionally. The first step toward living a healthy and satisfying life is found in our ability to keep the promises we make to ourselves, whatever those promises might be.

When we are feeling sad, or anxious, or overwhelmed, we don’t have 100% of our energy available to apply toward the things that are important to us. Dealing with on-going or recurrent anxiety and depression is like have malware running in the background of our lives. Unable to turn it off, it drains our energy until our focus becomes on surviving the day instead of creating our future.

Good Mental Health Diana Brummer

Similar to the daily practices of eating well and exercising, there are steps we can take to help protect our mental and emotional health from normal wear and tear.

Like a protective shield, I like to think of these tips as “sunscreen for the mind.”

  • We can’t live a positive life with a negative mind. Become intentional about what you allow into your consciousness. Do this by limiting the amount of negative news you ingest, the amount of gossip you participate in, or the types of television shows you watch. Reduce the amount of negativity you allow into your mind.
  • We become the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so choose those people with care. Make sure those closest to you are supportive, uplifting, and positive and you will feel more supported, uplifted, and positive too.
  • What we focus on increases, so focus on what you want versus focusing on what you don’t. Focusing on good and desirable things will attract more good and desirable things. Focusing on the opposite attracts…well, the opposite. Stay intentional with your focus.

Protect your mental and emotional health, enjoy life more and stress less because, whether it’s from too much sun or too much worry, wrinkles are profoundly unnecessary.



Good Mental Health Counseling

This article also appeared in St. Johns Magazine in February 2018!

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