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Challenges to Your Mental Health and Happiness

By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 21, 2018

Introduction

Mental-health

You all have challenges to your mental health and happiness. We are mindful that there are as many of you unsuccessful as there are successful in navigating these challenges. Everyone has thoughts about the keys to happiness, but we can objectify the conversation! Let’s identify what is most likely to make you unhappy and lead to depression. You may find this hard to believe, but outside of medical causes of psychiatric illness and factors outside of your control, there are actually three choices we make that most commonly adversely impact your happiness and good mental health. Take it as you will, but the data is quite clear. Stay away from these circumstances, and you’re less likely to be unhappy. Sometimes mental health is achieved via addition by subtraction.

Health Problems

HealthIssues

People who are sick or have significant illness in their families generally aren’t happy. Although this may seem obvious and perhaps unfair, given that some illnesses and conditions are inherited or occur haphazardly, be mindful of the things you can control. Of course, this gets to the negative effects of obesity and smoking. More so than any other health-related activities/conditions, these will eventually lead to deteriorating health and subsequent unhappiness.

Job Problemsneed-job

You don’t have enough to do with your time? As the saying goes, an idle mind is the Devil’s workshop. It should be pointed out that neither too much work nor the wrong type of work (i.e., low job satisfaction) seems to promote either happiness or solid mental health. On average, people change careers seven times during their lifetimes. It’s often due to a search for happiness and actually is a good thing to do to avoid being stuck in a bad situation. Follow the job you love, and you’re more likely to be both happy and successful.

Relationship Problems

You make bad relationship choices? Well there’s one specific choice that is shown to be most likely to reduce your happiness—choosing a neurotic partner. What’s neurotic? For one particularly disruptive example, think about the so-called Drama Queen/King. A neurotic partner responds emotionally to events that wouldn’t affect most people, and their reactions tend to be more intense than normal. They’re more likely to interpret minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. Their negative emotional reactions persist for unusually long periods of time. In short, if you want to be really unhappy, become attached to such a person. They will negatively affect your world, keeping you embroiled in drama and unhappiness, no matter how good the financial, physical, or other parts of your relationship.
Mental Health
Now your results may vary but probably won’t. I’m not make judgements, just sharing the data. Your life choices have consequences as related to your mental health. Choose wisely!

Click here for more on avoiding depression.

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Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

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