How Your Mental Health Affects Your Physical Health
by Sofia Bingham | June 25, 2021
We are taught about the importance of physical health to our wellbeing, but what about our mental health? Sometimes, the biggest problems are the ones that we cannot see. These invisible wounds can manifest into physical problems that we experience in our health. The mind and body have a powerful connection and it’s important to understand the link between mental and physical health.
Stress is the start of poor mental health
One of the early signs of mental health concerns is high levels of stress. First, let’s understand the ways that stress affects your body. Why does it even exist? Think of it as your body’s defence system against situations that could mean life or death. Stress gives your body what it needs to survive. However, the human body isn’t designed to stay in that state.
Here’s how your mental health affects your physical health
Have you ever stressed about something that negatively impacted your life? Maybe it was the end of a relationship, or work became too demanding and hard. Consider this: while your mind is stressed out, your body responds to it as a threat. It doesn’t know that your work problems are different from getting chased by a lion. It only knows to respond. Staying in this state weakens your immune system and exposes you to a greater risk of illness and injury.
Ways to maintain your mental and physical health
Start putting more intention into the things that you eat.
When you fuel your body, you’re also fuelling your mind. Nourish your mind and body with a balanced and healthy diet. A poor diet compounds the issues that are present in your body. When stress puts it into survival mode, your body will store fat and crave sugary processed food. Excess fat leads to weight gain and heart disease or other complications. Therefore, mental and physical health starts by feeding yourself nutritious whole foods.
Stay active by moving your body every day.
You don’t need fancy gym equipment or an expensive trainer. It could be as easy as walking your dog or gardening in your yard. A popular way to move your body and strengthen your mind is through yoga. It combines movement with meditation, and you can do it anywhere. It doesn’t matter what you decide to do as long as you get up and move.
Rest your body and mind.
We function at our best when our bodies and mind are well-rested. Sleep is the most important part of recovery. Without the proper amount of rest, we can expect to see our minds and bodies deteriorate faster. The appropriate amount of sleep will vary from person to person, but the common goal is to ensure that we receive quality rest.
A nightly bedtime routine can do wonders for your sleep. You can take a warm bath before bed to relax your body. Read a book instead of scrolling on your phone so you can relax your mind. The key is to let your mind and body wind down at the end of the day.
We do our best to tend to our needs, but sometimes it’s not enough. It’s okay to seek support, the first step is always the hardest but you don’t have to do it alone.
Our mind is capable of incredible things. It can influence the way your body moves and how it feels. Here at Stride, we help you strengthen the connection that you have with yourself. We provide mental health services to everyone, from babies and their parents — all the way through to people in their sixties. We also provide group or individual therapy, psychosocial support, and family support. Get in touch with us through our online contact form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.