How Your Physical Health Could be Affecting Your Mental Health
Although mental and physical health have often been viewed as two completely separate aspects of one’s wellbeing, studies are showing that they have more effect on one another than previously acknowledged.
Links between Mental and Physical Health
One of the most recognized correlations between mental and physical health is the link between stress and physical ailments. Chronic stress can wear down the body over time, but even short durations of stress have an effect. Many of us have experienced symptoms of raised blood pressure during a temporarily stressful situation, for instance. Historically, negative emotions such as anger have been found to correlate with heart attacks. Conversely, an optimistic outlook has been shown to positively affect physical heath. According to a 2012 analysis at Harvard, lead author Julia Boehm states, “We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction and happiness are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of such factors as a person’s age, socioeconomic status, smoking status or body weight.”
The Effect of Physical Health on Mental Health
Poor physical health can have a negative effect on mental wellbeing. However, there are simple things that you can do to improve your physical health as well as your mental health.
Exercise – any activity that involves moving your body, using muscles and expending energy - is one of the easiest ways to improve your health and lift your spirits. It’s a great way to release stress and tension, and the added benefit of released endorphins can make for a better mood. Here are a few additional ideas that you can begin implementing into your life even today!
- Get enough sleep
- Reduce screen time
- Go outside
- Nurture relationships
- Eat more whole foods and less ‘junk food’
If you are struggling with your mental health OneEighty licensed counselors and social workers are available for in person or telehealth services. Please call us at 330.264.8498 for more information.