Healthy Active Living with St. Joseph Healthcare

Tools to Help Take Care of Your Mental Health

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We asked Dr. Scott Deron to discuss the importance of emotional and mental health, and offer some tools for us to take care of our mental health. 

Our emotional and mental health is just as important as our physical health. We lead busy and complicated lives that stress our emotional health reserves, and it can be difficult to treat issues that arise. I see issues related to emotional health every day in my cardiology practice. Some symptoms can look like palpitations and elevated blood pressure.

Mindfulness: Teaching You to Be Present in the Moment
While medications can be important and necessary, at times, there also is an important place for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). I often recommend this approach to my patients, even those who are not dealing with active emotional health issues.

We cannot entirely eliminate stress in our lives, but we can try to insulate ourselves against stress. This is where MBSR comes in, a tactic used by major medical centers to help those who live with conditions such as chronic pain, cancer, infertility, anxiety and depression. The concept of MBSR asks us to separate ourselves from the past and the future and immerse ourselves in the one thing we truly have and that is the present moment.

The 7 Basics Tenants of Mindfulness
Achieving mindfulness and finding ourselves in the present can be done when we appreciate the seven basic tenants of mindfulness. These are:

  1. Non-judgment
  2. Patience
  3. The beginner’s mind
  4. Trust
  5. Non-striving
  6. Acceptance
  7. Letting go

A daily practice of time for one’s self in comfortable meditation can often reduce the anxiety caused by stress, decrease palpitations, improve blood pressure, improve sleep patterns and improve life quality.

Mental Health Resources
Two good resources for learning more about MBSR are Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., and The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson, MD.  These serve as an excellent introduction to MBSR and how you can learn simple relaxation techniques.  I used to struggle to get to sleep until I read these two books, and now, I’m asleep within minutes.

scott_deron_MD_for_blogScott Deron, DO, is a cardiologist with St. Joseph’s Cardiology. To contact Dr. Deron and our cardiac team, call (207) 907-1770 or find them online.

 

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