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The ultimate mental health program

Allow me to shock you: I have a program that can "cure" and prevent most cases of depression and anxiety-related problems, within a few months, without anti-depressants or other drugs.

The pharmaceutical companies don't have to quake in their boots yet, though. Although my program works, it is one that not many people would be willing to try.

What is this "miraculous" treatment? You will probably not be surprised to learn that it involves weekly psychotherapy, plus couples counseling and/or family therapy if necessary. The rest of the treatment may be a little more unexpected.

The mental health program: *

  • Engage in a practice that emphasizes mindfulness for at least 10-30 minutes every day (Some possibilities: meditation, prayer, yoga, dance, Tai Chi).
  • Do work that you find fulfilling and/or find ways to make your job feel worthwhile.
  • Volunteer or find other satisfying ways to help others. 
  • Exercise at least 3-4 times a week doing something you enjoy.
  • Experience nature at least once a week through walks, hikes, gardening, etc.
  • Engage regularly in healthy activities you enjoy with people you care about. 
  • Regularly touch and be touched by people you love. (for example: hugs, holding hands, back rubs.)
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • If you engage in "virtual activities" such as TV, the internet, or video games, do so only occasionally and for short periods of time.
  • Do not smoke.
  • If you drink coffee, soda, or any caffeinated beverage, do so only occasionally and in moderation.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages or use any other inebriating substance, do so only occasionally and in moderation.

That's it!

Of course, most people at this point will be saying, "That's it!? You are telling me to completely change my lifestyle!" While I don't expect too many people to do everything on the list all the time, I believe that the more of these things you do, the healthier and happier you will be.

The human mind and body has a hard time coping with the typical American lifestyle. We do so many things wrong in terms of our physical and mental health that it should not be surprising that we are increasingly anxious, depressed, overloading our healthcare system, and taking antidepressants so much that they are starting to show up in our drinking water. So getting and staying healthy requires not living a typical American lifestyle.

If the average person followed the program faithfully for several months, he or she would probably feel better even without therapy. This is especially true if the person started more time with caring, supportive loved ones instead of watching TV, playing video games, drinking, etc.

On the other hand, many people who started living according to the program would want to get therapy, because I have eliminated most of the ways they medicate themselves or distract themselves to keep from feeling lonely, sad, lost, afraid, angry, or confused. Without the medication and distractions, you have to learn other ways of dealing with those feelings.

* If you have physical or medical conditions, see your doctor, because those need to be taken into account. And see your doctor before making radical changes like starting a new exercise program.

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