Unraveling the Relationship Between Mental and Physical Health
There is an undeniable connection between mental and physical health. If you are struggling with physical health issues, then it is natural for your emotional health to suffer. The opposite is also true. If you are struggling with mental health issues, you can start experiencing more physical health issues. You do not have to accept those facts. There are many things that you can do to change your physical and mental health outlook.
The Evidence is Clear
According to Professor David Goldberg of the Institute of Psychiatry in London, the rate of depression in patients with a chronic illness is much higher than in the general population. People who have chronic health problems are more likely to become socially isolated, leading to even more mental health problems.
What Can You Do?
There are several small steps that you can take to improve your physical and mental health, including exercising, eating a good diet and getting enough sleep.
Try to get at least 20 minutes of exercise five days a week. If going to a sweaty gym is not for you, then consider walking the dog, gardening or doing some other form of exercise that you enjoy. Numerous studies show that exercising outside is most beneficial. There are many benefits of exercising, including the fact that your body will naturally release happy hormones. Your creative thinking skills will improve, and you will have less anxiety and depression.
Striving to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night helps improve your physical and mental health. Your body naturally heals itself better when you are asleep, helping keep many health problems at bay. The immune system becomes weaker when a person does not get enough sleep. People who are sleep deprived have more accidents. Everyone can recall at least one time that they have had an emotional outburst because they were tired. It is also harder to creatively think when you are tired. Therefore, you should use your bedroom only to sleep and create a routine where you go to sleep and get up at the same time each day.
You have probably heard the adage “you are what you eat,” and it is true in both the physical and mental realms. People with a poor diet tend to die 10-to-25 years earlier than those eating a healthy diet. There is a direct correlation between obesity and poor mental health. Eating a balanced diet low in fat improves both your mental and physical health. Notably, eating a diet that is high in folic acid, magnesium, selenium, vitamin D and vitamin C can help boost your mental and physical health.
Making these small changes may be enough to improve your physical and mental health. Occasionally, however, they are not enough, so individuals should not be afraid to seek additional help. Cognitive behavior therapy, group and individual therapy have all been shown to be useful for many individuals. Others may need to work with their doctors, including mental health professionals, to get on medicines to improve their emotional and physical health.