I like to think so. Mental health has come to the forefront after the recent suicide of “Part’s Unknown” host Anthony Bourdain. Anthony’s passion and excitement for exotic people, places, and food was contagious. This was one of the few shows that my entire family enjoyed watching. Anthony seemed like he had everything- his death makes the rest of us try to understand why.
Of course only he knows but he mentioned in one of his shows that certain things would set him off into a depression. Too bad he didn’t have the ability to talk himself down and say this is only a dark tunnel that I’ll eventually get through. Or better yet, reach out to a friend or seek professional support.
Experts tell us that social connections are critical. Anthony loved people but his relationships appeared to be short lived as his travel schedule had him on the go.
I have recently been more proactive with my mental health. I’ve been exercising for years, and if I go more than a few days without exercising I feel greater anxiety. I used to exercise at home to save time but now I exercise at the gym where I have met some great people. I have enjoyed playing tennis for years but recently joined a tennis league where I have met interesting quality people. My joy for playing tennis has also helped me expand my own social connections as I have met some interesting quality people.
We here about mindfulness but what does that mean exactly? For me, it just means focusing on one thing at a time. I really try to stay present in the here and now, as opposed to beating myself up about the past or getting stressed about the future. Next time you have a meal alone don’t look at your smartphone, watch television or read. Don’t think about anything other than how amazing the food taste and how grateful you are to have it. One of my old friends said “I never ate a meal when I was hungry” I laughed, but it’s true as most of us never allow ourselves to get hungry. Intermittent fasting is a great way to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday routine and allows your body to repair itself as you sleep.
After hearing Dr. Weil and other well respected health experts talk about the merits of Sam-e, I tried it. I have to say, my mood has improved. They say that the efficacy is about the same as prescription Anti-depressants without the Side Effects. https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/mental-health/is-same-worthwhile-for-depression/ . Another amazing benefit of the Sam-e is that my joint pain from playing tennis has subsided – studies have shown that the benefits are similar to Celebrex.
The moral of the story is improving our mental state of mind is a clearly a multipronged approach but the time & effort it takes is worth it. You deserve to be happy! Life is already short, this isn’t a dress rehearsal.