Tips for Reducing Stress and Depression

davidshern Health Guide
  • 10 Tips for Reducing Stress

    By Dr. David Shern


    On behalf of Mental Health America, it's a pleasure for me to introduce a new campaign we have developed to help you and others deal with the stressful times in which we live.


    We recognize that we live in extremely challenging times and are more determined to help people protect their mental health and improve their well-being.  That's why this month we have launched a new program, called Live Your Life WellSM, which provides 10 evidence-based tools that you can use to combat chronic stress.


    If you visit the will find in-depth but easy to understand information on these 10 Tools:

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    • Connect with Others. Research suggests that people who feel connected are happier and healthier - and may even live longer.
    • Stay Positive. People who regularly focus on the positive in their lives are less upset by painful memories.
    • Get Physically Active. Exercise relieves tense muscles, improves mood and sleep, and increases energy and strength.
    • Help Others. Research suggests that those who consistently help other people experience less depression, greater calm and fewer pains.
    • Get Enough Rest. People who don't get enough sleep face a number of possible health risks, including weight gain, decreased memory, impaired driving and heart problems.
    • Create Joy and Satisfaction. Positive emotions can boost a person's ability to bounce back from stress.
    • Eat Well. Eating healthy food and regular meals can increase energy, lower the risk of developing certain diseases and influence mood.
    • Take Care of Your Spirit. People who have strong spiritual lives may be healthier and live longer. Spirituality seems to cut the stress that can contribute to disease.
    • Deal Better with Hard Times. People who get support, problem-solve or focus on the positives in their lives are likely to handle tough times better.
    • Get Professional Help if You Need It. If the problems in life are stopping a person from functioning well or feeling good, professional help can make a big difference.

    These free tools, which are supported by a strong body of research, can be used to promote individual resiliency during major life changes or times of stress.  Just as we have learned that there are steps we can take to reduce the risk of heart disease or other illnesses, there are tool people can use to protect their mental health in tough times and also to improve their mental well-being throughout their lives.


    We are launching Live Your Life WellSM this month in observance of Mental Health Month, which Mental Health America started over 60 years ago. Live Your Life WellSM represents just one example of our groundbreaking work to help all people live full and productive lives.  For more information, visit


    For a century, Mental Health America has worked to promote the health and well-being of people living with a mental health condition.  From fighting stigma and discrimination to improving access to services, we are working to help all Americans live mentally healthier lives.


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    Share Your Stories at realLIVES: A Unique Online Community


    Earlier this year we launched a new and unique online community-realLIVES-where mental health consumers can share their experiences of living with mental health conditions. This one-of-a-kind anthology of original writings, artwork and poetry connects people facing similar struggles and helps break the silence that shrouds mental illness in America. We invite you to join in and contribute your story here.


    Conference To Examine Future of Mental Health


    We also encourage you to attend our Centennial Conference in Washington, D.C., Celebrating the Legacy, Forging the Future, which will not only look at the profound impact we have had over the last 100 years, but how we can change the face of mental health in the future. Leading figures, such as George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, and inspiring speakers will examine the changes that are transforming the face of mental health.  You can learn more about the conference at


    Sign the Pledge for Mental Health


    Finally, I hope you will go to our sign our Pledge for Mental Health. We believe It's Time for Mental Health.


    It's time for businesses and elected leaders to invest in mental health and make it integral to our overall health. It's time for mental health to be part of our everyday lives, to provide Americans with the knowledge and skills that will protect and strengthen their mental health, respond to threats and equip them to persevere through tough times. It's time to give mental health the voice and attention it deserves.


    Over the past century, we have transformed our nation's approach to mental health. Join us as build on a century of achievement to create new possibilities for progress.


    David Shern, Ph.D., is president and CEO of Mental Health America.

Published On: May 01, 2009