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Improving Mental Health
13 years ago today, a tragedy occurred. It was an emotionally shocking tragedy so much that many of us remember where we were and what we were doing. We mourn the loss of our citizens, and still misunderstand the offenders. Trials like this one occur in life’s journey for joy, and make it hard to be happy. Nonetheless, we are still a free and prosperous nation with many liberties and blessings. As such, Madison Medical Library prepared some tips and advice to help you balance good mental health and stay resilient.
Strategies and Tips for Good Mental Health
People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their emotions and their behavior. They are able to handle life’s challenges, build strong relationships, and recover from setbacks. But just as it requires effort to build or maintain physical health, so it is with mental and emotional health. Improving your emotional health can be a rewarding experience, benefiting all aspects of your life, including boosting your mood, building resilience, and adding to your overall enjoyment of life.
What is mental health or emotional health?
Mental or emotional health refers to your overall psychological well-being. It includes the way you feel about yourself, the quality of your relationships, and your ability to manage your feelings and deal with difficulties.
Good mental health isn’t just the absence of mental health problems. Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues. Rather than the absence of mental illness, mental and emotional health refers to the presence of positive characteristics. Similarly, not feeling bad is not the same as feeling good. While some people may not have negative feelings, they still need to do things that make them feel positive in order to achieve mental and emotional health.
People who are mentally and emotionally healthy have:
- A sense of contentment.
- A zest for living and the ability to laugh and have fun.
- The ability to deal with stress and bounce back from adversity.
- A sense of meaning and purpose, in both their activities and their relationships.
- The flexibility to learn new things and adapt to change.
- A balance between work and play, rest and activity, etc.
- The ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships.
- Self-confidence and high self-esteem.
These positive characteristics of mental and emotional health allow you to participate in life to the fullest extent possible through productive, meaningful activities and strong relationships. These positive characteristics also help you cope when faced with life’s challenges and stresses.
The role of resilience in mental and emotional health
Being emotionally and mentally healthy does not mean to never go through bad times or experience emotional problems. We all go through disappointments, loss, and change. And while these are normal parts of life, they can still cause sadness, anxiety, and stress.
The difference is that people with good emotional health have an ability to bounce back from adversity, trauma, and stress. This ability is called resilience. People who are emotionally and mentally healthy have the tools for coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook. They remain focused, flexible, and creative in bad times as well as good.
One of the key factors in resilience is the ability to balance stress and your emotions. The capacity to recognize your emotions and express them appropriately helps you avoid getting stuck in depression, anxiety, or other negative mood states. Another key factor is having a strong support network. Having trusted people you can turn to for encouragement and support will boost your resilience in tough times.
Improve mental and emotional health by taking care of yourself
In order to maintain and strengthen your mental and emotional health, it’s important to pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Don’t let stress and negative emotions build up. Try to maintain a balance between your daily responsibilities and the things you enjoy. If you take care of yourself, you’ll be better prepared to deal with challenges if and when they arise.
Taking care of yourself includes pursuing activities that naturally release endorphins and contribute to feeling good. In addition to physical exercise, endorphins are also naturally released when we:
- Do things that positively impact others. Being useful to others and being valued for what you do can help build self-esteem.
- Practice self-discipline. Self-control naturally leads to a sense of hopefulness and can help you overcome despair, helplessness, and other negative thoughts.
- Learn or discover new things. Think of it as “intellectual candy.” Try taking an adult education class, join a book club, visit a museum, learn a new language, or simply travel somewhere new.
- Enjoy the beauty of nature or art. Studies show that simply walking through a garden can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. The same goes for strolling through a park or an art gallery, hiking, admiring architecture, or sitting on a beach.
- Manage your stress levels. Stress takes a heavy toll on mental and emotional health, so it’s important to keep it under control. While not all stressors can be avoided, stress management strategies can help you bring things back into balance.
- Limit unhealthy mental habits like worrying. Try to avoid becoming absorbed by repetitive mental habits—negative thoughts about yourself and the world that suck up time, drain your energy, and trigger feelings of anxiety, fear, and depression.
Free I-pad with Patient Portal
Have you been a patient in the last three months? Everyone who registers and accesses their valuable health information are enrolled in the free i-pad drawing done at the end of September. Madison Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce that patients can now access their demographic, health history, billing, lab, and radiology information online using the Patient Portal! We have been offering this as a service to our patients since the middle of August, and so far 111 (about 6%) of our patients have enrolled and accessed their information online. Our goal is to continue building this service and to increase awareness of its availability so that more of our patients can access their information using this new and very convenient process.
Benefit Fair & Insurance Open Enrollment
Thursday, September 18, 2014 – Benefit Fair and Insurance Open Enrollment. It will be held on the 2nd Floor Main Hallway. All Exempt, Full-time, and Regular Part-time employees can come and speak to insurance company representatives to answer any questions. This is your opportunity to add or drop dependents from your insurance. You may also want to learn what investments are available for retirements.
This event is for all employees to enjoy. Flu shots will be given and there will be vendors selling treats. Please plan to attend! We hope to see each of you come!
Peri-Op 101 to OB Course
The first 2 students to take the PERI-OP 101 to OB course have passed! The students are Keslin K. (OR) and Jessica K. (LDR). We would also like to send a huge thanks to Lynsey C. and Susan L. (Education), Cheri M. and Janet D. (OR) for their endless hours of preparation and teaching. The next class for LDR nurses will begin in September. It is exciting to be able to provide this program here at Madison Memorial. – Betty Barney
Michael M. promoted to Special Project Technician
Tana B. promoted to HIM Specialist II
Shamae B. promoted to Radiology Technologist
Nikki K. promoted to Admitting Clerk
Aleisha C. promoted to Admitting Clerk
Kariann E. promoted to Housekeeping Lead
Linda N. promoted to Admitting Clerk II
Christy D. promoted to Admitting Clerk III
Lucas H. Certfied Google Virtual Tours Photographer
Years of Service
Hillary S. Radiology
Whitney P. Emergency
Bradley P. Respiratory
Linda W. Med/Surg
Amy H. Respiratory
Dorilea Z. MMSC
Dorsie S Pharmacy
Angie W MBU
Kim S. MBU
Riley C. LDR Respiratory
Lauren R. LDR
Kami G. Admitting
Britney J. MMSC
Laura G. MMSC
Alexandra L. Med/Surg
Caralyn D. Ultrasound
Sam K. Env. Services
Juli H. Env. Services
Lynn P. Env. Services
Katrina A. Emergency
Ana S. Lab
Jeneal S. Lab
Doctor Black – Emergency
Dr. Black is one of our new Emergency Department physicians. He comes to us from Utah State University and Touro University where he did his Emergency residency. Dr. Black is married to his wife Erin, we welcome Dr. Black to our MMH staff.
Doctor Torngren – Orthopedics
Dr. Torngren will be working at Upper Valley Orthopedics with Dr.’s Michael Larsen and Dr Kevin Lee. Dr. Torngren comes to us as a graduate of University of Utah, he also has done two fellowships, one in Nevada and one in New Mexico. Dr. Torngren is married to his wife Jennifer and they have 3 children. We all welcome Dr. Torngren.
Bring in your quilts for display! Show off your (or someone’s) hard work! We have already seen denim, baby, 90-year-old and brand new quilts. Visitors and staff comment on how interesting it is to see them. We will hang them behind a plastic cover to protect them. Please call Shauna at Ext #5959 if you would like to BRING a Beautiful QUILT to share!
“Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.” By Irving Berlin, a Russian immigrant to the United States– widely considered to be one of the greatest songwriters in American history. Some of his more well-known songs were “White Christmas”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, “God Bless America”, and “Always”.
From the New York Times best-seller, “The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace: Know What Boosts Your Value, Kills Your Chances, and Will Make You Happier” by Cy Wakeman:
“What does it mean to be “reality based”?
Being reality-based is all about ditching the drama, because most of the drama in our lives has nothing to do with reality. It’s the story we make up about reality. For instance, if my boss asks me a question, I might think, “He’s micromanaging me, checking up on me.” The reality is that my boss asked me a question. The rest is a story I made up. The average person spends two hours a day in drama. That is a ton of emotional waste. When people let go of their drama, they are able to use those two hours a day for productivity, and they are happier because their morale is not affected by the stories they make up about their circumstances. (Emphasis added)
How can employees become more reality-based?
Quit believing everything you think. Step back and question it. When you run into a problem at work, don’t assume your co-workers are incompetent or undermining you. Ask: “What do I know for sure?” What’s left are the facts. Then ask, “What could I do to add value?” Look for ways to solve the problem and contribute. That way, you eliminate all of the energy that goes into drama.”
Many of us spend more waking hours at work than at home. Therefore, the majority of our happiness comes from our working day. Work cannot, by itself, make us happy, but we can make daily choices to help us be happy at work and that happiness is critical to our overall health and well-being.
- Prepared by Toni W.
MENTAL WELLNESS, WHAT IS IT?
In searching the literature on Mental Health, it is difficult to find a straightforward definition of Mental Wellness.
Although many adults do not fit snugly into descriptions of depression and anxiety, depressive symptoms and behaviors that identify anxiety are seen in many people. Unfortunately, even if these adults recognize their depressive symptoms and feelings of anxiety, and even if low-cost treatment were available around the corner, the stigma of mental illness inhibits many of them from seeking help.
It is important to keep in mind that no one is perfectly mentally well and no one is completely mentally ill. Each of us is a mixture of illness and wellness. We all have different “hot buttons.” What might depress or upset one person may not affect the next person. In addition, we all have different “breaking” or “burn-out” points. The best questions we can ask ourselves are “What factors and skills lead to a healthier state of mind?” and “What are our weaknesses and strengths?”
Our baseline mental wellness is determined mostly by our biology. If we are not challenged by genetic or other brain or body abnormalities, we may have an easier time achieving a healthier mental state. However, even if we are affected by biological circumstances beyond our control, we can still develop skills and utilize psychological tools that will help us maximize our potential for enjoying life and reaching goals.
The factors that will help any of us achieve healthier states of mind are self-appreciation, resilience (optimism, perspective, meaning, humor), affiliation, negotiation, curiosity, exercise and leisure activities (reading, board games, playing musical instruments, and dancing). In fact, if we each made a list of our shortcomings in these areas and worked on them proactively, we would each “pump up our mental wellness power” significantly.
Our individual biology and the brain structure that we were born with and which develops as we age may be the only limiting factor in how far we can pump up our mental wellness, but within each of our individual structural limitations, there is room to improve our mental fitness. It is not unlike the limitations we each have for how fast we can run or walk or move in some other fashion. We all start with a different body, but we all can learn the skills for quicker movement.
The five factors that I feel are involved in the equation of mental wellness are noted below
Resiliency researchers and experts might say that resilience is the overriding characteristic which predicts how well we handle challenges to our physical or mental health. In my opinion, no single strength or weakness, on its own, predicts what may happen. For instance, a person with limited resilience may have great affiliation skills and their network of mutual support may get them through some hard times just as well as someone with greater resilience but who has less of a network of mutual support. So, the equation for mental wellness is:
Mental Wellness = self-appreciation + resilience + affiliation + negotiation + mental and physical exercise.