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FOCUS ON MENTAL FITNESS

FRIENDSHIPS AND YOUR MENTAL FITNESS

Friendships are fun and help boost our self-confidence, sense of belonging, and mental fitness. Put the effort into making a new friend. Stay in touch with your current friends.

New friendships help keep the mind healthy

Finding activities where you'll meet new people is a great, active way to make new connections. Here are some quick and easy ways we can shake the hands of our future friends:

  • Say yes. We often don't attend events because we might not know many people there. The reality is that this is a great opportunity to meet people who might share mutual interests.
  • Walk Fido. A friendly dog is the ultimate ice breaker. Let a pet lead the way to meet someone you otherwise wouldn't.
  • Donate your time. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer right here in L.A. County, as highlighted in many of our Spotlight newsletters. Meeting new people and helping others is a good combination.

Be a good friend to your good friends

With a little attention and care, our existing friendships can keep growing with each year. Remember, all healthy relationships require a little give and take.

  • It's not a contest. A good friend is not a rival. Be happy when your friends succeed, and they'll return the favor for you.
  • I hear you. Ask your friends about what's going on in their lives. Listen. An inquisitive attitude leads to self-disclosure, a healthy sign of closeness in any relationship.
  • Don't stifle. Stay in touch, but don't crowd those close to you. Be mindful of overwhelming friends with multiple calls or emails without a reply. Keep the ball in their court, but respect a friend's boundaries.

Whether you're finding new friends or reconnecting with current ones, a strong social support network helps keep you in a positive state of mind.

Something as simple as building a new friendship can do wonders for our mental health. To find out more about the power of friendships:
www.mayoclinic.com/health/friendships/MH00125

EXERCISE YOUR BODY, EXERCISE YOUR MIND

Did you know that physically active people tend to have better mental health?

According to the 1996 U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health, physically active people had higher scores for positive self-concept, more self-esteem, and a generally better mood and outlook on life.

Everyone benefits from the mental perks that result from physical fitness; let's make a commitment to staying active!

Source: www.americanheart.org

For additional resources related to Mental Fitness, check out the Web Resources page.

12/29/10