Mental Hygiene: Enhance Your Mental Well-Being in a Few Minutes per Day, Ep.33

You can enhance your mental well-being in just a few minutes per day!  In this episode, I discuss my passion for and mission to empower a proactive and preventative approach to mental health and overall wellness.  I share key points that outline the concept of mental hygiene based on recently published research aiming to advocate for global mental hygiene recommendations to promote mental well-being.  

Empowered By Design Podcast with Dr. Lyz: Mental Hygiene: Enhance Your Mental Well-Being in a Few Minutes per Day, Ep.33


Dr. Lyz: Licensed Psychologist, Wellness Entrepreneur, Life and Love Coach

Empowered By Design Podcast: Psychology, Mental Health and Wellness, Love and Relationships, Mindset, Self-care, Self-reflection and Personal Growth

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Welcome to the podcast, Empowered By Design with Dr. Lyz!  This podcast is designed to bring you psychological concepts in real life terms that will empower a proactive approach to mental health and overall wellness while inviting balance, harmony, connection, and joy.  Lyz DeBoer Kreider, PhD, a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania and New York, shares her passion for helping you pursue your dreams and goals for life and love with intentional vision.  This podcast is about finding and owning your power right now and using it for good, by nurturing the connection of body, mind, heart, soul, and spirit. Empowered By Design Podcast delivers psychological concepts and practical strategies with a real life approach, designed to empower: Health and wellness, Optimal performance, Authentic connection with yourself and others, and purposeful, joyful living.


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Show Notes for Mental Hygiene: Enhance Your Mental Well-Being in a Few Minutes per Day, Ep.33

  • Tremblay, G., Rodrigues, N.C., & Gulati, S. (2021). Mental Hygiene: What It Is, Implications, and Future Directions, Journal of Prevention and Health Promotion, 2(1) 3-31.
    • Advocating for mental hygiene recommendations that promote mental well-being- similar to recommendations related to dental hygiene, sleep hygiene, physical activity
    • From the Canadian Mental Health Association “Mental health is key to our well-being.  We can’t be truly healthy without it.  It involves how we feel, think, act, and interact with the world around us” (p. 10) 
    • Most recommendations for promoting mental health include:
      • Physical activity
      • Good sleep hygiene
      • Balanced diet
      • Maintaining healthy social relationships
    • Targets common brain activities that have been associated with mental health illness and symptoms of mental health symptoms and can be detrimental when excessive:
      • Mind Wandering (MW) - when it is excessive, distressing, and/or disconnects one from moments of potential joy/connection
      • Rumination - “a process of uncontrolled recursive negative thinking that is primarily self-focused” (p. 10)
      • Self-referential processing within the Default Mode Network (DMN)
    • “Neuroscience has laid out a general model that the more an individual thinks excessively in a self-focused manner via unaware MW and rumination, the more one is prone to a decrease in well-being, in turn, increasing the susceptibility to mental health issues and illness.  Mental hygiene advocates that these underlying modifiable cognitive patterns require daily attention to minimize their frequency and produce the cognitive conditions conducive to well-being” (p. 11)
    • Mental Training Activities Recommended for increasing your mental well-being:
      • Meditation, Positive Psychological Interventions, Self-Directed CBT, Prayer, and Nature Exposure
      • These practices are positively associated with mental well-being.
      • Criteria for inclusion:
        • Significant evidence-based support
        • Robust safety profile
        • Potential Cross-cultural application
        • Scalability for equitable access
      • Meditation
        • Example - Mindfulness meditation is a practice that involves focusing attention on the present moment experiences in a non-judgmental manner
      • Positive Psychological Interventions (PPIs)
        • “Intentional cognitive activities that help cultivate positive feelings, positive behaviors, and positive cognitions” (p. 13)
        • Examples -  journaling about positive experiences, expressing gratitude, positive rehearsal, affirmations
      • Self-Directed Cognitive Behavioral Theory/Therapy (CBT) exercises
        • Identifying thoughts, emotions, behaviors/actions, the connections between them
        • Examples - keeping a thought record, examining and identifying emotions/behaviors that result from certain thoughts, increasing knowledge of your thought content and processes, etc.
      • Pro-social Prayer
        • Encouragement to explore your spiritual beliefs
        • Regular practice of prayer is correlated with increased mental well-being
      • Nature Exposure
        • Examples - take a walk in a natural setting, look up at the sky!, put your feet in the sand at the beach or on the grass, etc.

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