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Mental Health and Physical Health: How They’re Connected

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Your physical health and your mental health are directly connected in more ways than you might expect. If you have depression, anxiety, or any other kind of mental health condition, there’s a chance that it’s negatively affecting your physical health as well. That’s why if you have mental health problems, it’s just as important to get treatment for them as it is to treat your physical ailments. In fact, studies have shown that some people are able to successfully treat their depression with exercise, while others use medication as part of their treatment plan.

Here is an overview of how mental health affects your physical health.

Anxiety

Yes, there’s a link between mental health and physical health. People who suffer from anxiety have higher levels of stress hormones in their body, which can trigger inflammation.

In turn, chronic inflammation is a well-known factor that contributes to heart disease. This isn’t just a correlation—it’s been scientifically proven in animal studies too. If you suffer from anxiety, see your doctor for treatment options that can help prevent or manage chronic inflammation (taking medications if necessary). Even if you don’t have anxiety, it may be worth looking into lifestyle changes that could help reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular problems later on like quitting smoking or exercising more regularly.

If you don’t know where to start, be sure to check out the Nutrition2change online course on ‘How to build effective workout programs‘.

Depression

According to recent data, more than 28% of people in the UK are living with depression. Unfortunately, many of these people also suffer from chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer; depression has been shown to increase a person’s chances of developing these diseases.

However, many people suffering from depression aren’t able to get professional help because they feel embarrassed or ashamed by their symptoms; others don’t even realize that what they’re experiencing is actually depression until it progresses into a more serious condition like psychosis or bipolar disorder

Stress

You can’t see it or smell it, but you may be able to feel it. Stress is a normal part of everyday life, but too much stress isn’t good for your body. For example, a constant feeling of stress may lead to high blood pressure or heart disease because stress increases strain on your heart. That’s why we recommend using relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga to help lower your body’s response to stressors in everyday life.

By understanding how mental health affects physical health—and what you can do about it—you’ll be better prepared when things get hectic at work or home.

Body Image

People who have a positive body image tend to be healthier overall, since they’re more likely to eat well, work out regularly, and sleep well. But it goes beyond that—those with better mental health are also less likely to smoke or drink excessively, both of which are bad for your health.

If you do struggle with anxiety or depression, there are ways you can still take steps towards improving your physical health. Try taking a walk outside (even if you don’t necessarily feel like it), or setting some goals that will get you moving towards a healthier lifestyle—these small changes will help make a difference in your long-term wellness. You can also try online therapy; if done right, it can provide valuable support throughout difficult times.

Negative self-talk

While your brain has its own way of communicating with you, it can be tough to decipher what is you versus what is a part of negative self-talk.

Your brain may send signals that you aren’t worthy or deserving or happy, but they don’t come from you. However, identifying those voices in your head is a great first step toward helping manage them. You can do so by journaling–the simple act of writing down your thoughts helps quiet those voices in our heads because it helps us see that we are not our thoughts (and therefore don’t have to believe everything we think). It’s okay if you don’t know exactly where some thoughts come from when you write them down; simply acknowledging their existence can help give you distance from them.

The effects of negative self-talk can be severe. Some people believe in them and see themselves in a completely different light. What one person sees in the mirror is completely different to what is happening in reality.

One time, we met a lovely lady who was anorexic. The purpose of our meeting was to help her become a healthier version of herself. She has been negatively self-talking for years if not decades. She got herself believing that she was overweight to the point that she was wearing oversized clothes that were almost dragging on the floor, and yet she said they fitted her fine. It was in that moment, that we truly saw the effects of negative self-talk.

So, love yourself and be who you are because you are unique in your own way.

Another post worth reading: 7 Meal Prep Ideas That Will Help You Lose Weigh

Summary

Mental health and physical health are two sides of one coin. Most of us know that a healthy mind is necessary for having a healthy body, but how many of us really stop to think about what goes into making sure our mental health is up to par? One important thing you can do for yourself—and one that may not even occur to you in your everyday life—is to eat right. Check out this meal planning masterclass to get you started.

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