Spring 2021 Newsletter
At Empower Health Services, we care about the health and wellness of you and your family. Each of our Health Hub newsletters is designed to share attainable ways to maintain healthy habits and improve your overall quality of life. This issue provides tips for staying mentally well!
Uncovering The Benefits Of Laughter
As adults, life tends to throw a series of stressors, deadlines, and unexpected trials our way. Have you noticed? One of the most overlooked remedies to combatting stress is something very natural — laughter! As children, this probably came easy but as an adult, it’s still important to understand the tremendous physical, mental, and social benefits that are found from this human response.
- Physical Health Benefits: boosts immunity, relaxes the body, and lowers stress hormones
- Mental Health Benefits: improves mood, helps you recharge, and shifts your perspective
- Social Health Benefits: strengthens relationships, enhances teamwork, and helps diffuse conflict
Laughter can’t be forced. To unwind and induce these benefits, consider watching your favorite sitcom, reading a light-hearted book, attending a comedy show, or spending time with friends and family who make you feel happy!
Understanding Your Emotional Well-Being
We often hear that it is vital to care for both our physical health and our mental health. The easiest way to start is by understanding that both of these are connected. If you’re neglecting a balanced diet and exercise, for example, you may find that your mental health is also taking a toll. Poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health issues. Likewise, if you’re under strenuous amounts of pressure and not practicing self-care, you may find that you’re feeling fatigued and even physically ill.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness.” This means that the majority of adults are either directly or indirectly impacted by mental health issues.
Boost your mental wellness by forming healthy lifestyle habits:
- Physical activity is a great way to keep your body healthy and directly correlates with mental wellness. If you’re feeling down, you may find that even a short walk outside can help rejuvenate your energy and mood.
- Nutrition is one of the biggest factors that influences the way we feel. Keeping a healthy diet can aid in the development, management, and prevention of numerous mental health conditions.
- Smoking has a negative impact both on mental and physical health. Many with mental health problems believe that smoking relieves symptoms, but these effects are only short-term.
If you or someone you know needs support or guidance, know you’re not alone. Seek help by talking to your doctor, connecting with trusted friends and family, joining a support group, or calling the free NAMI HelpLine at 800-950-6264.
Step By Step: Creating Healthy Habits
This season is a great opportunity to kickstart new healthy habits! We spend many hours of the day sedentary. From sitting down at your work station to relaxing on the couch, physical exercise can easily fall to the wayside. Let’s get up to move more and sit less!
Starting small – whether it be a short daily walk or a quick workout video – will add up throughout the week. According to the American Heart Association, adults should be getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. This goal might sound intimidating but is sustainable if you break down the minutes throughout your week and find the activities that work for you!
What is the benefit of moving more? The AHA tells us that physical activity is linked to better sleep, a sharper memory, and improved balance and cognitive ability. Additionally, as a result of moving more, you will have less risk of weight gain, chronic disease, dementia, and depression. A win-win!
The American Heart Association’s Tips For Moving More:
- 10 Minutes of Stretching = walking the length of a football field
- 2.5 Hours of Walking Every Week for a Year = walking across the state of Wyoming!
- 30 Minutes of Singles Tennis = walking a 5k
- 1 Hour of Dancing Per Week for a Year = walking from Chicago to Indianapolis!
- 20 Minutes of Vacuuming = walking 1 mile
- 30 Minutes of Grocery Shopping Every Other Week for a Year = walking a marathon