Emotional Wellness (cont.)
In this Article
We're not saying, "Look fabulous in time for swimsuit season." Just get your body moving. Study after study has shown that exercise lifts mood and generally enhances quality of life.
Break any vicious cycles you see happening, which get in the way of adding positive things like exercise to your daily routine. Booze, cigarettes, overeating, junk food, or all these together are an impediment to physical activity, and overindulging leads to more of the same.
It's important for emotional health to maintain your physical health in all the ways you can. So get enough sleep; eat regular, balanced meals; and take time for relaxation as well.
This may also seem like a contradiction, but moderation in all things is the message here. Everyone knows that "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Overly rigorous devotion to work drives you batty.
Still, it's easy to become consumed by your responsibilities and to neglect your own enjoyment of life.
In his book, Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement, psychologist Kenneth Christian, PhD, directs readers to add something positive and pleasurable to their life, do it every day, and make it permanent.
If you don't know what your purpose in life is, start smaller. "Make a list of things you want to do before you die," Christian says. Don't be shy about writing down wild schemes. If your first list is uninspiring, make another one. Keep making lists and look for any recurring themes.
Identifying an interest and pursuing it can develop into a rich and exciting life that you'd never imagined you'd have. "Not all that helps us reach goals is linear," Christian says. Ask yourself, "What cooks for me?" he says.
Instead of expecting everything in your life to go smoothly -- some things will, and some definitely won't -- or worrying about what will happen to you if things go wrong, plan for potential problems.
Some problems blindside us, but others are more predictable. Muriel James gives an example: If you think you may have to get up in the middle of the night, will you fret about possibly tripping over things in the dark, or will you turn on a night light?
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