Jan 11

Among the many new years resolution we all make, the typical ones include  weight-loss, exercise, beginning a new project, saving more… you name it. Somehow many of us have never include ways to improve our mental health.

Mental Health? What the hell are you talking about Dr. Carly? Well… did you know that 1 out of every 4 persons living in the U.S. has some type of mental health disorder? They run the gamut from mild to severe, but that is not what I really want to call your attention to.

Did you realize that both good and bad moods are infectious?  Yes! The fact is our mood and emotions are easily affected by others; especially those we are closest to.  Think back, have you ever been in a great mood and then met up with your honey/parent/friend/co-worker who was in a major funk? All of a sudden, your good mood deflates like a punctured balloon!

And we are able to pick up on those cues from our loved ones real easily. It could be a simple phone call and you immediately ask, “What’s wrong?” But just as we can easily tune into slumped shoulders, low-pitched, slow-paced tones of hurt and disappointment, we can also turn the tables to spread infectious good moods.

Remember the time you just cracked up because someone else was laughing uncontrollably and you did not even have a clue as to what they were laughing about? That is infectious!! Practicing to speak with quick-paced joy and laughter in your tone can help to drive the clouds away.

Listen, reacting to others is a good thing. However you can acknowledge another persons’ feelings and empathize without letting it weigh you down, believing it is an appropriate way to show you care. Sometimes individuals just need to know we are listening without requiring us to fix the situation. If you find yourself getting weighed down, give yourself permission to take time-out and focus your attention on something else.

When things calm down, take time to reflect on why you were affected the way you were. By coming to some understanding, you will build your personal immunity and good mental health for the next time you are exposed to the blues of emotional contagion.

See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.