6 Tips for Getting Psychologically Fit for the New Year

Physical fitness is important to staying mentally healthy. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Luther Boothe Jr./Released

Improve your memory, mood and get mentally fit. Dr. James Bender offers some tips on why and how to improve your mental outlook for 2012.

He suggests making it one of your New Year’s Resolutions.

Bender is a former Army psychologist who deployed to Iraq as the brigade psychologist for the 1st Cavalry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Hood, Texas.

The following tips are from his monthly contribution to the DCoE Blog on psychological health concerns related to deployment and being in the military.

  1. Good nutrition is important for your physical and mental health. There’s a lot of evidence showing that omega-3 fatty acids and folate help the brain.
  2. Aerobic exercise isn’t only good for you physically; it’s great for your brain. It improves cognitive performance and lowers stress.
  3. Get a professional opinion if you’re often feeling depressed, anxious or suspect you may have a psychological health condition.
  4. Give your brain a workout. Learning a new language, musical instrument or playing chess are all ways to improve concentration.
  5. Sleep is very important for memory and overall mental health.
  6. Be socially active and foster relationships. This tends to reduce stress, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and provide support.

Additional tips on how to stay mentally fit are available on the Real Warriors – Real Battles – Real Strength website.

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