The Connection Between Your Physical Health and Mental Health?
For a long time we have been talking about the importance of mental health. But to understand mental health completely you need to understand your physical health as well. This is so because mental health and physical health have a deep-rooted connection.
Have you ever wondered why your therapist tells you to exercise daily, eat healthy food, etc? How can a daily run affect your mental health condition? Well, in many mental health conditions your doctors ask you to make some lifestyle changes because your bodily fitness (physical health) has a direct connection to the fitness of your mind (mental health).
Similarly in physical health conditions like cancer, tumor, surgeries, amputations, physical disability and other terminal or non-terminal diseases, doctors often advise to engage in activities like meditation and mindfulness exercises. Some are even asked to get therapy.
Do you see a connection between mental health and physical health yet?
Read on to know more…
What is Mental Health?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Mental Health can be defined as general wellness of the mind. It is one’s ability to identify his/her strengths and weaknesses, ability to face normal stressors in life, ability to work productively and ability to contribute to his/her community.
Our mental health contributes to an overall emotional, psychological and social well being. Mental health in simple words is the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. If you are having destructive thoughts, feelings and behavior you probably have developed some mental health issues.
What is Physical Health?
Physical health can be defined as the absence of any disease and a well functioning body. It is described as a state of health and well being, the ability to complete your daily tasks at home, office and on the field.
You are considered physically fit when your energy level is above average throughout the day, you eat nutritious foods, have a good sleep schedule and are not addicted to any kind of drug or alcohol use.
What Causes Mental Health And Physical Health Problems?
Mental health conditions are marked by disturbances in your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Such changes can happen because of various factors such as;
- Family history, genetics
- Tough life experiences
- Chemical imbalance in the brain
- Traumatic brain surgeries
- Infected by dangerous chemical while in the womb
- alcohol/drug use
- Lack of friends, loneliness
- Presence of a chronic physical health condition
Similarly, physical health conditions are marked by inability to perform your duties at home or workplace, poor sleep and appetite, etc. the factors responsible for causing physical conditions are;
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet and sleep
- Over or underweight
- alcohol/drug use
- Injury cause by violence, accident, etc
- Poor environmental quality
- Poor access to health care
- Poor hygiene
Also read: Benefits of Deep Breathing On Your Physical and Mental Health
What Are The Signs Of Mental Health Condition?
It’s not very easy to identify a mental illness. The suffering individual sometimes doesn’t even realize that he/she is dealing with a mental health issue. That’s why it’s important to know some of the warning signs of mental illness;
- Increase in stress, worry and paranoia
- Constant feeling of sadness and loneliness
- Quick and extreme changes in mood
- Social withdrawal
- Sudden change in appetite and sleep
What Is The Connection Between Mental Health And Physical Health?
Physical and Mental health both are fundamentally connected. You might have come across various instances where the association between mental health and severe physical health condition was evident.
Chronic physical health conditions have an impact on the quality of your life which simultaneously affects your mental health. The connection between physical health and mental health is most evident in cases of terminal diseases. Other connection between physical and mental health are;
- Declining mental health can act as a risk factor for chronic physical conditions. , depression, suicidal tendencies, panic disorder, etc.
- Severe mental health conditions can foster physical health issues. Eg. Eating disorders cause esophagus and stomach abnormalities.
- Severe physical health conditions can foster mental health issues. Eg. Cancer might cause depression, death anxiety, body image issues, etc.
- Depression is linked to immune system
- Mental illness is linked to fatigue
- Stress, anxiety, anger are linked to heart-related diseases
Listen to: Podcast Ep. 9 – How Physical Health Impacts Mental Well Being
How To Improve Physical Health And Mental Health?
General wellness is very important. We need to take care of our overall health (physical health, mental health, social health, emotional health, spiritual health) in order to lead a happy and comfortable life.
Here’s how to improve your mental health;
- Indulge in proper self care
- Invest your time in meditation and mindfulness activities
- Learn to expression your emotions, don’t bottle them up
- Spend some time in the nature or doing things you really enjoy (daily)
- Take some time out from your busy life for you friends and family
- Learn to take a break
- Don’t shy away from seeking therapy
- Learn health coping mechanisms
Here’s how to improve your physical health;
- Exercise daily
- Go for routine health check ups
- Limit your screen time
- Make some health lifestyle changes
- Don’t have a sedentary life, move and stretch each 2 hours
- Eat a balance diet
- Have a set healthy sleep routine
- Say no to alcohol/drug use
That’s All Folks!
Both physical and mental health is important because the roots of each are entangled in each other. Both physical health and mental health have an equal influence on each other. I hope you found this blog interesting and informative.
Thanks for reading.
Take care and stay safe