Sound Mind, Sound Body

How well your body works has a lot to do with your brain. For example, your immune system is the most powerful healing force you have and your brain controls it to some degree. Research suggests that positive mental and emotional expectations can boost your immunity when you’re sick.

How’s your emotional health? You can self-treat many mental health problems with a little care and attention. Begin by observing your symptoms.

Take an inventory: In the blanks provided, write the number that corresponds to your mental health symptoms.


1.  Anger-Hostility-Irritability Do these emotions interfere with your activities or relations?
2.  Anxiety Do fear and worry interfere with your activities or relations?
3.  Depression Do feelings of sadness, hopelessness or apathy interfere with your activities or relations?
4.  Hyperactivity Does feeling nervous, restless or continually excited interfere with your activities or relations?
5.  Addictive Behaviors Do overeating, gambling, smoking or other addictive behaviors interfere with your activities or relations?
6.  Withdrawal Do you feel detached from activities or people or slip into excessive daydreaming?
7.  Sleep Problems Do you have trouble sleeping or staying awake?
8.  Alcohol-Drug Use Does alcohol or drug use interfere with your activities or relations?
9.  Suicidal Signals Have you thought about suicide or wondered if life is not worth living?


Now record any events, major changes or illnesses you have observed which relate to your symptoms. Generally, the more your symptoms are interfering with your daily life, the more serious the problem. If you score a 3 in more than 3 symptoms, or a 2 or 3 in numbers 8 and 9, it’s time for professional help.

Source: Healthwise Handbook/A Self-Care Manual (Healthwise, Inc.)


First Aid for your Brain
Look for a laugh. Laughter can ease tension and provide emotional healing.

Talk to someone or write about it. Expressing your thoughts can help you see things more clearly.

Look at your choices. What can you do to feel better now?

Get some exercise. It helps clear the mind and restore chemical balance to your system.

Check your medicines. Many prescription drugs can trigger depression and disrupt sleep and mental functions.



Once a year:

  • Check smoke detector batteries.
  • Have chimney swept and furnace checked.
  • Check first aid supplies.
  • Review disaster plan with family and check disaster supplies kit.
  • Inspect and recharge fire extinguishers.
  • Dispose of expired medications.


  • Store medicines and cleaners out of children’s reach.
  • Use kitchen knives with caution.
  • Keep flammable objects away from the stove.
  • Store firearms locked and unloaded.
  • Buckle up for every trip.
  • Wear safety helmets (kids and adults!) while biking, skating or skiing.
  • Keep water heater thermostat set below 120°F.
  • Wear safety goggles and ear protection when using power tools.


  • Smoke in bed.
  • Leave space heaters unattended when on.
  • Leave matches or lighters around children.

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