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Healthy living involves more than physical health; it also includes emotional or mental health. The following are some ways people can support their mental health and well-being.
Get enough sleep daily, the CDC recommends the following by age group (naps inclusive) 12-18 hours from birth to 2 months, 14-15 hours from 3-11 months of age, 12-18 hours for 1-3 years of age, 11-13 hours for 3-5 years of age, 10-11 hours for 5-10 years of age, eight and a half to nine and a half hours for 10-17 years of age and those 18 and above need seven to nine hours of sleep. Elderly people need about seven to nine hours but do not sleep as deeply and may awaken at night or wake early, so naps (like kids need) allow them to accumulate the total of seven to nine hours of sleep.
- Take a walk and reflect on what you see and hear at least several times per week.
- Try something new and often eat a new food, try a different route to work, go to a new museum display and do some mind exercises read books, play puzzle games.
- Try to focus on a process intensely and complete a segment of it over one to several hours, then take a break and do something relaxing like walk, exercise, short nap.
- Plan to spend some time talking with other people about different subjects.
- Try to make some leisure time to do some things that interest you every week (hobby, sport).
- Learn ways to say “no” when something occurs that you do not want to do or be involved with.
- Have fun do traveling, go on a trip with your friends go shopping, go fishing; do not let vacation time slip away.
- Let yourself be pleased with your achievements, both big and small (develop contentment).
- Have a network of friends; those with strong social support systems lead healthier lives.
- Seek help and advice early if you feel depressed, have suicidal thoughts, or consider harming yourself or others.
- People taking medicine for mental-health problems should not stop taking these medications, no matter how “well” they feel, until they have discussed their situation with their prescribing doctor.
Avoidance behavior is another key to healthy living. Below are described some of the major items to avoid if a person is seeking a healthy lifestyle
AVOID TOBACCO USE
Tobacco use is the most important preventable illness and cause of death in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Tobacco use was estimated to be the cause of 743,000 deaths every day in the whole world.
Stop smoking tobacco; start to stop today (it takes about 15 years of nonsmoking behavior to achieve a “normal” risk level for heart disease for those that smoke). Stop using chewing tobacco to avoid oral cancers.
Tobacco use causes or contributes to a large number of cancers in Pakistan and other countries like USA. In men, 90% of lung cancer deaths are attributable to smoking; 80% in women in the west. Tobacco use causes cancers of the lung, mouth, lip, tongue, esophagus, kidney, and bladder.
It also further increases the risk of bladder cancer in subjects occupationally exposed to certain organic chemicals found in the textile, leather, rubber, dye, paint, and other organic chemical industries, and further increases the risk of lung cancer among subjects exposed to asbestos.
Tobacco use causes atherosclerotic arterial disease (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and lack of blood flow to the lower extremities. Tobacco use causes an estimated 20%-30% of coronary heart disease in the U.S. It also further increases the risk of heart attacks among subjects with elevated cholesterol, uncontrolled hypertension, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Tobacco use causes an estimated 20% of chronic lung diseases in the in Pakistan , such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and causes pneumonia in those with chronic lung disease.
- Quitting smoking is difficult to accomplish, tobacco contains nicotine, which is addictive. Some smokers can quit “cold turkey,” but for most, quitting smoking requires a serious life-long commitment and an average of six quitting attempts before success.
- Quitting smoking efforts may include behavior modification, counseling, use of nicotine chewing gum (Nicorette Gum), nicotine skin patches (Transdermal Nicotine), or oral medications such as bupropion (Zyban).
AVOID OTHER HIGH-RISK BEHAVIORS
Avoid other risk behavior such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving while sleep-deprived Do not drive if sleep deprived, Reckless driving and speeding, “road rage” driving while using cell phones, texting, or performing other tasks, Motorcycle riding without helmets because Motorcycle accidents are a major cause of serious head injuries and Helmet use reduces deaths from motorcycle accidents by 30% and serious head injuries by 75%, Possession of firearms and guns without proper training and storage.
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR HEALTHY LIVING
In spite of the fact that there are numerous other hazardous practices that may block a generally solid way of life (for instance, working with harmful or radioactive materials, tranquilize compulsion, go to ranges with abnormal endemic ailments), these are excessively various, making it impossible to cover in this general article