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Keeping Brains Healthy

Aug 17, 2007
You might be tempted to 'pass' on this article if you are in management, because of the content. I would encourage you to take a look as there is truly 'something for everyone' here.

The UK's Mental Health Foundation issued some great guidelines that can be found at www.mentalhealth.org.uk and this Top Ten has, I believe, a wider value than being used only in conjunction with mental health. They are great in almost any circumstances where people are involved.

I think it is a great template for day-to-day wellbeing, so I have no hesitation to share it with you this week.

Not only is it great for those of you who manage others, in sometimes stressful situations, but it also works for your people, some of whom may face challenges themselves.

The headings are those from the Mental Health Foundation, the comments are mine.

1. Talk About Your Feelings
They say a problem shared is a problem halved. As a coach, and having been coached, I know what a release it is when you are just able to talk out loud to someone prepared to listen, without judgement. Taking advantage of this as well as, where possible, offering just to listen is a great way forward.

2. Keep Active
Activity releases natural body endorphins, which promote feeling good about yourself. It also gets you moving, doing something which implies progress, which, where missing, so often makes us feel less than excited about life and the possibilities. If activity gets you out of the house and with others, the socialising naturally leads to talking, which takes us back to item 1).

3. Eat Well
Whilst we all need a varied diet, good food, as simple as it needs to be feeds the body well. Poor eating has a tendency for blame and low self-esteem, which promotes poor eating and a cycle of negative feelings. It's OK to eat pleasurably too, just be controlled!

4. Drink Sensibly
Like eating, sensible drinking means that you can have fun without the downsides. Alcohol has a depressive nature and the after effects hardly enhance feeling good about yourself. So, in moderation and in social situations, there's nothing wrong with sensible social drinking.

5. Keep In Touch With Friends and Loved Ones
Family and friends are a wonderful asset. In the modern world, where family units have become fragmented, as people move around more often means that we often have less people around we are really close to. So ensuring that you work at these relationships (and bury the hatchet more easily when in the past you might have dug your heels in over something), means you do have someone to turns to when you need to.

6. Ask For Help
A powerful tool. Asking for help, especially with someone who is non-judgemental and a great listener is a hugely valuable act to take. When you feel down, you can ask others around you to help you, even as good listeners, because that helps. And whilst asking, remember that you have huge personal resources that you may not be using fully - you can do it! Using the very words 'I need your help', works best as it kicks in to their emotional side where someone needs them - so it is a winner both ways!

7. Take A Break
Getting away, even for short periods out of your day-in-day-out routine is a marvellous refresher. It doesn't mean you have to take a cruise (though you can!), but it does mean that a walk for an hour in the park, or an awayday on the train works just as well. Sometimes you can combine 'active' with 'break' very inexpensively. Just take the time to make the time!

8. Do Something You're Good At
We are all good at something. In modern work environments, bust managers are often unaware of the power of praise and thanks for jobs well done - which many of us need to build our self-esteem. So making sure that you do more of what you enjoy and are naturally good at makes us feel great and realise that we are contributing, truly and making a difference somewhere.

9. Accept Who You Are
We are surrounded by message trying to make us different. making us aspire to something we aren't. This constant squeezing of our comfort in our own skin can make us feel despondent and unhappy. You are great. You do great things and have wonderful personal capabilities. Let go the doubt and be yourself, you will love yourself all the more for it!

10. Care For Others
Like in item 8, by doing something you are good at, especially (though not exclusively - you can indulge yourself sometimes!) where it helps someone else too, is remarkably good for you. By bringing to you a sense of making a difference to someone else, you will feel much better in yourself too. It might even draw out of you some skills you never believed you had.

Great health, especially great mental health is a wonderful asset. there are things we can all do to make us much more effective at looking after ourselves in this way.

The first step is to realise that it is within our own power to help ourselves feel good about ourselves.

Many of us have that choice - let's more of us take it.
About the Author
2005-6 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com
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