Forgiveness (Healthy LIFESTYLE)  

                     MENTAL  HEALTH   

When we think of fitness, we immediately envision lifting weights, running on the treadmill and lacing up our running shoes for an early morning jog. Though these images are certainly connected, there’s another form of fitness we should be practicing in our daily lives: mental fitness. Here’s why you should know and care about one of the most important parts of your exercise routine.

Mental fitness is essentially a set of mental exercises that each and every one of us should be doing to ensure our minds are in tip-top shape and our attitudes are flowing in the right direction. Mental fitness has little to do with intelligence or IQ tests and a lot more to do with positive thinking and affirmations. The benefits that can come from daily mental fitness exercises are nearly endless, from better sleep to lower anxiety to higher self-confidence. Here are some different exercises you can do to get your mental fitness game on point.
Ways people can support their mental health and well-being.  THE CDC RECOMMENDS SLEEP ROUTINE FOR THE FOLLOWING BY THE AGE GROUP (naps inclusive);
12-18 hours from birth to 2 months,
14-15 hours from 3-11 months of age,
 12-18 hours for 1-3 years of age,
11-13 hours for 3-5 years of age,
 10-11 hours for 5-10 years of age,
eight and a half to nine and a half hours for 10-17 years of age
 and those 18 and above need seven to nine hours of sleep.
Elderly people need about seven to nine hours but do not sleep as deeply and may awaken at night or wake early, so naps (like kids need) allow them to accumulate the total of seven to nine hours of sleep.
Take a walk and reflect on what you see and hear at least several times per week.
Try something new and often (eat a new food, try a different route to work, go to a new museum display).
Do some mind exercises (read, do a puzzle occasionally during the week).
Try to focus on a process intensely and complete a segment of it over one to several hours, then take a break and do something relaxing (walk, exercise, short nap).
Plan to spend some time talking with other people about different subjects.
Try to make some leisure time to do some things that interest you every week (hobby, sport).
Learn ways to say "no" when something occurs that you do not want to do or be involved with.
Have fun (go on a trip with someone you love, go shopping, go fishing; do not let vacation time slip away).
Let yourself be pleased with your achievements, both big and small (develop contentment).
Have a network of friends; those with strong social support systems lead healthier lives.
Seek help and advice early if you feel depressed, have suicidal thoughts, or consider harming yourself or others.
People taking medicine for mental-health problems should not stop taking these medications, no matter how "well" they feel, until they have discussed their situation with their prescribing doctor(s).

            Known to many as “day dreaming,” undergoing the process of visualization is fun, motivating and exciting. The brain doesn’t know the difference between reality and fantasy, so you can close your eyes anytime and transport yourself to your dream life and surroundings. Visualize your goals and reap all the wonderful feelings that come with it. By doing so, you’ll be more motivated to take steps to achieve those goals.                             
As wonderful and exhilarating as visualization can be, it’s also very powerful and beneficial to meditate regularly. Allow all of your thoughts to fall away and focus only on your breathing for a period of up to 30 minutes. Studies now show that meditation not only reduces stress but actually thickens grey matter in the brain, leading to heightened working memory and improved critical decision-making skills.

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