mental-health-1420801__180

What is Mental Wellness?

When I was in an abusive relationship my mental wellness was in a very dangerous place.  There was so

Some situations are so intense it is difficult to process it in the mind
Some situations are so intense it is difficult to process it in the mind

much stress and emotional upheaval that my mind had a difficult time processing the rate at which events and situations changed.  This enhanced other disorders such as binge eating, anxiety attacks, and depression.

Since leaving this situation I’ve worked hard to find and maintain mental wellness and am thankful that I am a much stronger person today.  However, that does not mean that there are not still moments when I struggle with PTSD or not being in control.

Even though I was unaware of it at the time all of this was part of my mental well-being.

Mental Health is important to how we deal with and process life situations
Mental Health is important to how we deal with and process life situations

Mental wellness is classified as “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.”  Wikipedia added the following to the definition, “the absence of mental illness.”

According to the Mental Health Organization, “mental health includes “subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, inter-generational dependence, and self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential, among others.”

Some of the conditions that are recognized as mental illnesses include:

  • Anxiety or Panic Disorders

    Anxiety Disorders is one condition considered a mental disorder
    Anxiety Disorders is one condition considered a mental disorder
  • Mood Disorders such as depression
  • Psychotic disorders such as hallucinations or schizophrenia
  • Eating Disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating
  • Personality Disorders such as split personality, paranoid personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder
  • Impulse Control disorders
  • Addiction disorders such as drugs and alcohol, shopping, or relationships
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
  • Obsessive Control Disorders

    How do you calm yourself to have a healthy balance?
    How do you calm yourself to have a healthy balance?

So why is mental health important?   Because as described by the author at Wikipedia, “mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.”

Do you have a balance between life’s activities and the efforts to mentally process situations life throws your way?

healthy-food

What is Physical Wellness?

Exercise is part of the plan for physical wellness...
Exercise is part of the plan for physical wellness…

Physical wellness is one of the most talked about aspects we discuss in our society.

Every one wants to look like the super models on the cover of magazines.

Here at The Wellness Life, we are not concerned with looking like a supermodel.  However, we are concerned with being physically fit.  The goal is to have a healthy body from the inside out.

healthy foods and nutrition is another important component to being physically healthy
healthy foods and nutrition is another important component to being physically healthy

This means learning to exercise and gain strength, eating nutritionally rich foods, being in comparitively good health and being at a relatively healthy BMI.

I’ll admit that I struggle with physical wellness and if you followed my journey on my main site at DianaLeaghMatthews you will have seen that struggle.  I’ll share more with you dear readers as we move forward.

What is your greatest struggle with physical wellness?

the food plate

Understanding Your Plate

When I was growing up, we had the pyramid to explain the basics of how we should eat.  This was what was taught in the schools and while very straight forward, was confusing to many people.

Last year the White House introduced a replacement to the pyramid.  This is called the food plate, which shows what your plate should look like at each meal.  In many ways it is much simpler and easier to understand than the pyramid.     food pyramid

Let’s take a look at the food plate for better understanding:

Protein—these are your meats and should not be larger than the palm of your hand.  Research has shown that meats such as fish and chicken are healthier than red and processed meat {hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, etc}.   Red meats and processed meats should be limited to once or twice a week, while you enjoy fish and chicken the rest of the week.

Whole grains—these are your carbohydrates and should cover a fourth of your plate. Whole grains are gentler on your blood sugar and insulin than the refined grains we normally eat.   Some examples of whole grains are whole wheat, brown rice, barley, whole wheat pasta, etc.

Vegetables—almost half of your plate should be filled with some sort of vegetable.  These are low in calories but very filling.  Vegetables are rich in color and nutrients.  A few vegetable suggestions would be green beans, carrots, squash, peppers, etc.

the food plate         Fruits—fruits should make up half of the plate with your vegetables.  Between your fruits and vegetables you would have a very colorful plate.  Many fruits are naturally sweet and cut that craving for something sweet. A few fruit suggestions are banana, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, apple, grapes and oranges.

Drink—water is the best drink in the world.  Standard guidelines recommend eight glasses of water per day, but some people need more.  An occasional cup of coffee and tea are also healthy and beneficial.  Skip the sugary drinks found in soft drinks and sports drinks, while limiting juice, milk and other dairy products to no more than a serving or two a day.

Of course, no action plan is complete without a good exercise plan.   I encourage you to try and exercise at least thirty minutes each day.

Does your plate look this balanced?  Where can you make changes to your plate?

brain health

10 Benefits of Exercise

When I was much younger I loved to walk.  Regardless of the weather, I walked four miles a day.  Then life got in the way, I put on weight and got terribly out of shape. I realized that I had to do something about my additional weight.  The best place to begin was with exercise.

Exercise is not my favorite thing to do but each day I make the choice to exercise or not.  There are a number of benefits of exercise.  Some of these are:

  1. I have more energy after I exercise and get more accomplished that day.
  2. I am in a better mood when I exercise.                                brain health
  3. I am able to release stress in my life when I exercise.
  4. Exercise is good for my heart.
  5. I begin to see changes in my body when I exercise on a regular basis.
  6. I feel better about myself when I exercise.
  7. I keep my blood pressure down when I exercise on a regular basis.
  8. Exercise is a great way to start my day.
  9. Exercise can be something that I enjoy doing {such as walking, swimming, etc.} and not drudgery.
  10. Each day I discover that I’m able to do a little bit more than the day before.

These are just a few of the benefits I have discovered from exercising on a regular basis.  Do you exercise regularly?   What types of exercise do you enjoy?

benefits of exercise