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Hearts and Minds

NAMI Hearts and Minds

Maintaining good physical health often helps your mental health as well. NAMI Hearts and Minds aims to help you approach mental health issues in a well-rounded, all-encompassing way. Not just mental health but physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

*NAMI SW WA does not offer this course at this time. Learn more about it on NAMI National’s website.

  • Get Active
  • Eat Healthy
  • Avoid Smoking
  • Don’t Turn To Alcohol Or Drugs
  • Get A Good Night’s Sleep


Many people find that physical activity is beneficial to their well-being. Some types of mind and body treatments are:

  • Yoga
  • Exercise (aerobic and anaerobic)
  • Meditation
  • Tai chi

Some of these, such as meditation, are mental exercises, while others are mostly concerned with muscle movement. However, all mind and body treatments can improve mood, anxiety and other symptoms of mental illness. In addition, physical activity can help reduce weight gain, fatigue, and other side effects of many conventional medicines used to treat mental health conditions. Read more about Complementary Health Approaches on NAMI National’s website.

Managing Stress

Everyone experiences stress. Sometimes it can help you focus and get the task at hand done. But when stress is frequent and intense, it can strain your body and make it impossible to function. Finding effective ways to deal is crucial to living well.

Stress affects your entire body, mentally as well as physically. Some common signs include:

  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Jaw pain
  • Changes in appetite
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling overwhelmed

When experiencing long-term stress, your brain is exposed to increased levels of a hormone called cortisol. This exposure weakens your immune system, making it easier for you to get sick.

Stress can contribute to worsening symptoms of your mental illness. For example, in schizophrenia, it can encourage hallucinations and delusions, while in bipolar disorder, it can trigger episodes of both mania and depression. Knowing what situations cause it is the first step in coping with this very common experience.

Visit NAMI National for more information about Managing Stress.


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