Mental Health: Fourth of the Five Factors of Health
The Mental Factor
As number four in our series of the five (exercise, diet, sleep, attitude, and sound physical structure) factors of health, ATTITUDE plays perhaps the biggest role in determining our level of health. You’ve heard it before but it’s true. Business research shows that your attitude is the most important determinant of success. Health research on aging indicates that it profoundly affects the immune system. And sports research
clearly documents that a positive attitude is critical for top athletic performance.
Many of us decide how hard to exercise based on our “rating of perceived exertion,” or how much energy we think we’re using. This can be misleading since the state of our mental health fluctuates and affects our perceptions. Better to use your heart rate as an objective measure of your exertion–it doesn’t lie.
If you’re feeling kind of down on the day before your tennis match, for example, take some time for positive affirmations. Visualize your serve, volley, and ground strokes as you hit them perfectly one after the other. Read a funny article or the comics and try to laugh a little. Read an uplifting passage from a book that inspires you. Eat foods that make you feel strong and healthy. Surround yourself with positive people and a feeling of strength and power. These seemingly simple acts truly affect your body right down to the cellular level and can make a tremendous difference.
We’re capable of incredible feats of human performance and our attitude is key to achieving those heights.
Dr. Rick Schlussel is a Chiropractor and Applied Kinesiologist providing preventive health care, treatment for pain and injuries, holistic health assessments and a variety of natural therapies. He can be reached at Presence Wellness Center and Spa at 530-889-0388 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org