Mental and physical health is closely linked and has a reciprocal relationship with each other. Our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors can impact our physical health, and conversely, physical illnesses or conditions can affect our mental and emotional well-being. Mental and physical health is deeply interconnected, and problems in one area can have a significant impact on the other.
The relationship and interactions between physical and mental health have long piqued the curiosity of psychologists and doctors alike. It has been concluded that mental wellbeing affects a person’s physical wellbeing both directly and indirectly.
Effects of Mental health on Physical health
The state of your overall wellbeing is significantly influenced by your mental health. Being in a good mental state can keep you healthy and help avoid significant health disorders. According to a study, positive psychological well-being can lower the chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Conversely, a poor mental state can result in poor physical conditions or harmful behaviors.
- Chronic diseases: Individuals with mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are at a higher risk of developing chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis.
- Sleep disturbances: Sleep problems including insomnia or sleep apnea are more prevalent in those suffering from mental health disorders. Insomnia can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Sleep apnea leads to breathing problems, which can cause you to wake up frequently.
- Smoking: Smoking is more commonly seen among those who have mental health conditions than those who do not. People with mental health issues are more likely to consume more cigarettes overall among smokers. People suffering from depression have decreased levels of the chemical dopamine. Dopamine is in charge of positive feelings in your brain. The nicotine in cigarettes triggers the production of the chemical dopamine, so smoking may be used as a substitute to relieve symptoms of depression by the user. However, since nicotine is only a temporary remedy, you may feel an urge to smoke more frequently, which may lead to possible addiction.
- Availability of healthcare. Inadequate access to quality healthcare is seen in those who suffer from mental health issues. People with mental health issues may find it challenging to take good care of their physical health. In such a case, it may be challenging to seek treatment, take medication on time, consume healthy diets or get enough exercise, which may result in poor physical wellbeing.
Physical Health Conditions That May Affect Mental Health
The impact of physical health conditions on mental health can be significant. People with chronic physical health problems may experience ongoing pain, fatigue, and limitations in their daily activities, which can lead to feelings of frustration, sadness, and hopelessness. These emotions can then contribute to the development of mental health condition.
Psoriasis is a persistent skin condition that can be painful, itchy, and embarrassing. It has been linked to higher levels of stress and mental instability, which can make the symptoms much worse.
Similarly, a cancer diagnosis or having a heart attack may be terrifying and overwhelming, causing feelings of worry and sadness. It can be difficult to adjust to the major lifestyle modifications that these disorders frequently call for.
When a person suffers from a chronic medical illness, it’s crucial to address both physical and mental health issues. It might not be sufficient to only address the physical symptoms in order to improve overall wellbeing. The individual’s overall health results can be improved by including mental health assistance as well, such as therapy or counseling, to help them deal with the emotional effects of their disease.
How to Take Care of Your Mental and Physical Health
Taking care of both your physical and mental health is essential for improving your overall well-being.
Here are some ways to take care of yourself physically and mentally:
- Exercise frequently: Staying physically and mentally healthy requires exercise. It can enhance your general physical health and assist in lowering stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms.
- Eat a nutritious, balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight, lower your chance of developing chronic diseases, and elevate your mood.
- Get adequate sleep: You need enough sleep for both your physical and mental well-being. Sleep for at least 7-8 hours per night.
- Practice mindfulness: You may lessen stress, anxiety, and depression by engaging in mindfulness exercises like yoga, deep breathing, and meditation.
- Quality time: Spending time with friends and family may improve your mood and make you feel more connected to other people.
- Pursue interests and hobbies: Pursuing interests and hobbies you find enjoyable such as painting, cycling, swimming etc.
Don’t be afraid to seek professional assistance from a therapist or other mental health expert if you are having problems with your mental health. They can provide you advice and assistance to help you take better care of your mental health.
Many illnesses, as we’ve seen above, have both a physical and a psychological element to it. Understanding the connection between the body and mind is a first key step towards general well-being for people who suffer from mental diseases or chronic physical problems.
There is always health advice accessible, but the most of it focuses on physical health, while disregarding and neglecting the psychological wellbeing. However, it is important to bear in mind that maintaining your physical as well as mental health is crucial to stay fit, healthy, and happy.