It is normal to visit a counselor when we are facing mental or emotional distress. On the other hand, we are expected to see a physician when experiencing a physical problem.
Does this mean our mental and physical health are not related?
The answer is NO. Both these entities are strongly interrelated, and it is crucial to realize the link between them to maximize the overall well-being of the patient.
Sadly, in most cases, the connection between physical health and mental health is often ignored and misunderstood. They are viewed as being separated despite the fact that WHO defines complete health as the right combination of physical, mental, and social health.
Such a type of perceived disconnect between body and mind ultimately creates misconceptions about mental illnesses. Failing to realize that our mental health can impact physical health can only worsen the situation.
Even though every one of five adults suffer from some or other type of mental illness, many people are not aware of what mental illnesses really are. Mental illness is not just about being depressed. It can be anything that can take a major toll on your behavior and thinking abilities. The following are some of the most common types of mental health issues:
- Addictive behaviors
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorder
How Mental Health Affects Longevity
Longevity is one of the clearest and most important factors that illustrate the bond between mental health and physical health. Studies have found that people with mental health problems such as depression or schizophrenia have a relatively lower life span as compared to those who haven’t. In fact, schizophrenia patients are at more risk of dying from diseases related to the respiratory system and heart issues. Moreover, depression may increase the risk of dying from heart diseases and even cancer. In a nutshell, mental health has a lot to do with our life expectancies.
The major reason behind mental health patients are at more risk of cancer, respiratory health diseases, and heart diseases is that they are less likely to see a doctor for their physical health matters.
Patients taking part in adult mental health services usually receive several routine checks to analyze their weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. It helps them to identify the signs of any health concerns much earlier.
The Mind And Body Connection
If you want to know how exactly mental health can affect physical health, here it is in layman’s terms — poor mental health impacts your ability to fight chronic illnesses and make healthy decisions.
- If you neglect mental health, you are more susceptive to one or more of the following:
- Weakened immune system
- Gastronomical problems
- High blood pressure
- Premature death
- Heart diseases
Depression patients are more prone to the following:
- Enhanced sensitivity to physical aches and pains
- Abnormal functioning of neurotransmitters
- Chronic fatigue
Quick Tips To Create Healthy Body And Mind
Taking care of only mental health is not sufficient to live a healthy life. Any reputable Orange County mental health service will recommend taking care of your both physical health and mental health to stay away from diseases. You can do that with the help of the following steps:
Eat Healthy Diet
The right nutrition is highly important for a healthy body and mind. People with poor dieting habits are more prone to being a victim of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. The consequences of a poor diet can be fatal, and to avoid them, you need to add minerals, vitamins, whole grains, veggies, fruits, proteins, and sufficient water levels into your daily diet. Also, you need to stay away from foods that contain processed meat, butter, and added sugars. Remember, when it is about a healthy diet, focus more on quality rather than quantity.
Even though exercising is widely considered a physical activity, very few know about its positive impacts on mental health. Exercising releases happy chemicals (also known as endorphins) in the brain that lead to enhanced brain alertness, energy levels, and happiness. Regular workouts lessen the chances of depression, stress, and anxiety. If you want to make a difference in your physical and mental health, make sure you exercise regularly without making it overly intense. You can go on even a 15-minute walk on a daily basis to improve your mental and physical health.
To get the best results from your workouts, try to incorporate the following things in your life:
- Say no to alcohol and drugs as they can have a negative impact on your health.
- Try deep breathing, meditation, and yoga.
- Try to concentrate on positive emotions rather than stressing out about negative things around.
Get Adequate Sleep
Poor sleep routine is closely associated with anxiety, stress, and depression. It is crucial to get around 7-9 hours of sleep every night to keep mental illnesses at the bay. If you find it difficult to sleep properly at night, you can try the following steps:
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Avoid screens before going to bed
- Set a proper routine for your bedtime
- Relax your mind and body before you go to bed
Don’t Hesitate To Get Help
Many mental health patients often go undiagnosed because of the related myths and fears. Never do that! Because it only makes your condition even worse. Furthermore, it affects your physical well-being.
Working on your workout routine, diet, and sleep timings can help improve mental and physical health. However, in some cases, counseling and medication are necessary for the best outcomes.
Thankfully, there are specialists and professionals you can count on to get a healthy mind and body. When you partner with such medical experts, you will be able to figure out what’s right for you and eventually achieve the best health.