The World Health Organization has defined mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realized his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make contributions to his or her community.” They expand on mental health as it relates to children where they state that children should “have a positive sense of identity, an ability to manage their thoughts, emotions, and to be able to build positive social relationships as well as having an aptitude for learning.” 

Fortunately, there are many tools, tactics, strategies and techniques that can be used to improve mental health. Those that I propose here are mostly focused on helping to create better mental health, improve mental performance and to prevent mental illness. If we apply these ideas as a society, one person at a time, I think that we can make a huge impact and create a culture and an environment where people experience much better mental health and people with mental illnesses get comprehensive and holistic help and treatment. The ideas and concepts that I am presenting here cannot take the place of medical and psychiatric treatment. They are meant to be used as preventative and complimentary modalities to improve mental and physical health and to help you unleash your potential.
 
Eating smarter, moving more, and sleeping soundly will all enhance your ability to think clearly and will improve your mental health. This is just the beginning. Thinking clearly is key to building your mental health and a happy, high-performance life. Practice these ideas, and share them with others. Together we can truly impact people and help them live a world-class life where they can reach their potential, achieve their dreams, and be as healthy as they can be.

Today's POWER-UP: The Pursuit of Happiness

RESEARCHERS SUGGEST THAT HAPPINESS IS A COMBINATION OF HOW SATISFIED YOU ARE WITH YOUR LIFE AS WELL AS HOW GOOD YOU FEEL ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS. HAPPINESS VARIES CONSIDERABLY BETWEEN PEOPLE, BUT WHAT IS INTERESTING IS THAT 50% OF THAT VARIABILITY IN HAPPINESS APPEARS TO BE DUE TO GENETICS. 40% OF THE VARIABILITY IS DUE TO THOUGHTS, ACTIONS AND BEHAVIOURS AND ONLY 10% IS DUE TO EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES. TODAY I WANT TO FOCUS ON THAT 40% THAT WE CAN AFFECT. HERE ARE SOME IDEAS THAT RESEARCHERS HAVE SHOWN INCREASE HAPPINESS LEVELS.

SPEND TIME ON RELATIONSHIPS. HAPPY PEOPLE TEND TO HAVE DEEP RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS. SO INVEST SOME TIME EACH WEEK ON BUILDING DEEPER RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. MAKE A PHONE CALL TO CATCH UP WITH SOMEONE, GO OUT TO DINNER WITH YOUR FAMILY, OR GO DO A WORKOUT WITH A FRIEND.

BUY EXPERIENCES NOT POSSESSIONS. RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT BY SPENDING MONEY ON EXPERIENCES THAT WE CAN INCREASE OUR LONG-TERM HAPPINESS. LAST WEEKEND I SPENT MONEY ON SURF LESSONS. I LOVED THE EXPERIENCE AND WILL REMEMBER THAT FONDLY FOR MANY YEARS.

EXERCISE = ENDORPHINS. EXERCISE CAUSES THE RELEASE OF ENDORPHINS WHICH DECREASE YOUR SENSATION OF PAIN AND CAUSE YOU TO EXPERIENCE DEEP FEELINGS OF WELL BEING AND SOMETIMES EVEN EUPHORIA – ALSO KNOWN AS THE RUNNERS HIGH. DAILY EXERCISE IS A POWERFUL TOOL TO IMPROVE HAPPINESS. AMPLIFY THIS EXPERIENCE BY WORKING OUT WITH A FRIEND.