Your mental health is important — perhaps even more important than you think. From the way you see the world to the way you respond to it, your every perception, thought, and decision is passed through your brain. And if your brain is worn out, depressed, anxious, or fearful, then it could change your thoughts and behavior for the worse — and change your entire life for the worse, too.

And just as your mental health affects your life and lifestyle, so does your life and lifestyle affect your mental health. Experiencing serious stresses and losses can be traumatic to your mind. Poor lifestyle decisions can make your mind unhealthy just as they make your body unhealthy. To enjoy great mental health and the great life that comes with it, then you’ll need a great healthy lifestyle. And if you’re making any of the mistakes that we list below, then your current lifestyle is not going to cut it.

You’re working too hard

You want to succeed in your job and build a wonderful career, but working around the clock may not be the best way to do that. See, we’re actually more productive when we take breaks and the occasional vacation — and working through lunch or skipping your next big trip could really hurt your mental health. In extreme cases, you could even suffer from burnout. Burnout feels the way it sounds, and it can grind both your career and your mental health progress to a halt.

You’re eating poorly

What you put in your body determines more than just your physical health. It matters to your mental health, too. After all, your brain is a part of your body. To give your brain the nutrients it needs, focus on eating whole foods (especially vegetables) and skipping the processed stuff. You really will feel better when you eat healthy stuff.

You’re not breaking a sweat

Exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins elevate your mood. Plus, exercise will keep you slim, strong, and healthy — and it doesn’t take a doctor or a therapist to know that feeling physically good will be good for your mood, mindset, and overall mental health. Why feel lousy all of the time when better health and a better mood is just a short jog or workout away? Stick to your habits, and you’ll change your mind and your life.

You’re buried in local stress

Where you live matters. If you’re not happy with where you’re living, or if you don’t have the right tools and strategies for counteracting the kind of stress that exists in your area, then you’re going to be in rough shape mental health-wise.

Take big cities, for instance. Some of us find them stressful no matter what. And all of us will get stressed out if we don’t care for our minds during stressful commutes or on crowded streets. That’s why folks in places like New York City should be especially proactive about their mental health, explains an expert therapist in nyc.

You’re not seeking help

You don’t have to live somewhere stressful to benefit from therapy, of course. And you don’t even have to be particularly worried about your mental health. While therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy can make excellent treatments for issues such as depression and anxiety, these sorts of conditions are certainly not all that therapy can address. Even those of us who consider ourselves perfectly happy and mentally healthy could potentially benefit from therapy.

When it comes to your mental health, you should be making decisions like the ones that you do for your physical health. You should be caring for your mental health through good everyday decisions, but you should also be turning to professionals regularly for check-ins and to address any issues you see. Your mental health matters, so pay attention to it.

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How NEOFECT Created a Smart Glove (Robotic Arm) That Uses Online Gaming for Rehabilitation

Wearable technology keeps evolving. And it is transforming the way we experience the world. Watches, eyeglasses, rings, bracelets and even smart home devices like the thermostat are changing how we consumer information, monitor our health and use home products. Smart technology has a significant role to play in how people will live in the future.

NEOFECT wants to change how to aid rehabilitation and the provision of clinicial real-time patient data. In an interview with  Scott Kim, Neofect’s co-founder and CEO of the US office, he spoke to us about how he started NEOFECT, the company’s success factors and challenges they have faced in their bid to change physical therapy using online gaming.

Brief summary about your startup

Established in 2010, NEOFECT is a mobile health startup with a vision to deliver an affordable and effective at-home system to aid neuro patients with central nervous system disorders such as a stroke.

Its first product, RAPAEL Smart Glove, combines a wearable device, virtual reality and gamification for rehab exercise, while its software analyzes the data from built-in sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level.

The device has been successfully employed by a number of major hospitals in South Korea since December of 2014, and approved for use in the US and Europe. NEOFECT has offices in S. Korea, San Francisco, and Poland.

Why and how it was started

The President of NEOFECT, Ho-Young Ban, experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by stroke patients and their families when his father and two uncles fell victims of stroke.

Although his uncles were fortunate to survive, they had to turn down the rehab therapy because of the costs involved. So, when his friend Young Choi came up with an idea of Rapael, Ban could not resist.

Soon after, their classmate from the University of Virginia’s Darden MBA program Scott Kim joined the team to launch the US operations.

Kim was born with spinal bifida and went through a surgery and a long rehabilitation process, so he immediately recognized the opportunity and became a co-founder and the CEO of the Neofect’s US office.

What has been the biggest success factors

Personal motivation of the founders combined with the latest, most advanced smart technologies have become the major engines behind the company’s success.

– Gamification, which motivates a patient throughout the rehab process. It helps to induce neuroplasticity for hand function of a patient with a brain damage.

Various rehab games are updated monthly and each game targets specific movements such as squeezing the orange for finger flexion/extension and pouring wine for forearm pronation/supination, for example.

– Artificial Intelligence: the software analyzes data from the glove’s sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level. The algorithm is designed to enhance learning multiple functions by offering an optimal task at a proper level of difficulty.

– Wearable Device: RAPAEL Smart Glove is a wearable bio-feedback training gadget. Lightweight and designed to fit different hand sizes, it uses the Bluetooth technology to collect the patient’s data.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company?

The biggest challenge was the product’s concept itself. Many people believed that Rapael could be a threat to the therapists. Fortunately, after we launched the program in several hospitals, we’ve been able to prove that our device is designed with the doctors’ and patient’s needs in mind and helps them make the rehabilitation process more efficient.

Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?

This sounds like a cliché, but the right team is easily the answer to me. With the right people, you can make necessary adjustments based on new information to make sure there is a product-market fit.

My previous job was to lead a team to make mobile apps – without any exception, all great apps loved by users were made by great teams.

Final words for those chasing the startup dream

Never underestimate the importance of execution. Many people waste their time just to validate what they think or others think, or even just to finish the conceptualization.

However, you should “fail fast” in order concentrate your efforts on building a product which has a market demand, and of course, to save time and money as well.

Plus, you should fail while you are small rather than big, if you’re meant to face it. The earlier you do the reality check, the faster you can reach your goal, although it might cost you a couple of failures at the beginning.

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