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What is Self Mastery? - Part 3

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The next large component of self-mastery is mental health, and this is much trickier than physical health, due to many pitfalls that affect the mind along the way. The list of reasons why people fall prey to mental illness is so long; it could fill a large book.

Anyone can get a mental illness, as it crosses every social and economic boundary that exists. Some mental illnesses, such as Schizophrenia, seem to have marginal genetic factors, in that, it can "run in families," but studies don't indicate why this occurs.

On the other hand, Schizophrenia sometimes seems to be brought on by conditions around us - for example: the loss of a loved one and poverty. Therefore, let's look at some methods for optimum mental health and prevention of mental illness.

Exercise helps your mind relax and deal with life's daily stress. Exactly why this happens is not yet fully understood, but it does increase endorphin production, which makes you feel good. This does not make exercise the answer to all problems, but it is a factor in good mental health. When choosing exercise, pick something that you enjoy. Although, I would personally recommend Yoga first, that does not mean it will be an ideal exercise for you.

Allow for social time with family and friends. No matter how busy you get, you should set aside quality time socializing. Just make sure that the bulk of this time is spent with positive influences.

Laughter also releases endorphins, so watch a comedy, read a funny story, or enjoy the company of people who have a harmless sense of humor. This will enable you to make the most out of life, and it will boost your immune system as a bonus.

Meditation is a focused "mind exercise" and very good for keeping priorities in order. There are a number of materials available for meditation, and most Yoga classes have meditation, or relaxation, as a typical part of the class.

Learn when to say, "No." Do not accept burdens or problems that you cannot handle. You do not always have to feel obligated to everyone who has a problem. Also, related to this, you should state when you need help. You can prevent a lot of "headaches," just by asking for help.

Practice deep breathing everyday. This is GREat for your body, but also good for your mind. The relaxation and extra oxygen will give your brain a little break. You can get proper instruction on breathing techniques in any Yoga class.

Paul Jerard is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in North Providence, RI. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. He is a master instructor of martial arts, with multiple Black Belts, four martial arts teaching credentials, and was recently inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness to children, adults, and seniors in the GREater Providence area. Recently he wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students, who may be considering a new career as a Yoga teacher. http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/index.html


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