The Link Between Physical and Mental HealthLindsay Chambers
August is the 21st annual Happiness Happens Month, which means trying to do at least one thing each day that spreads joy to others, while making you happy. There’s no shortage of health advice in this world, but most of it focuses exclusively on physical health, not how to improve your mental well-being and equilibrium. In recognition of Happiness Happens Month, here’s a closer look at the mind-body connection and how it affects your overall health.
Factors That Influence Holistic Health
People who struggle with mental health disorders such as depression and PTSD are less likely to look after themselves and take the appropriate steps toward wellness. These conditions can make it more challenging to find the motivation to exercise, practice self-care and even, in some cases, to fulfill daily personal hygiene needs.
Those living with mental health conditions might feel hopeless, drained and unworthy of happiness. They might skip regular workouts, ignore the need to eat a balanced diet and fail to make routine doctor’s appointments or health screenings that can provide early detection and intervention for issues such as high blood pressure. Often, these people are also more likely to try self-medicating with drugs and alcohol – a dangerous impulse that can result in dependence and addiction.
Ways to Live a Healthier Lifestyle
Some simple changes to your everyday routine can help improve your physical and mental health.
- Exercise: When your mental health is at a low point, getting active might be the last thing you want to do. No matter how tired or unenthusiastic you are, try to get active for at least 20 minutes a day. Nobody expects you to go out and run a mile if that’s not appealing to you. Even something as straightforward as jogging or walking in place can get your heart rate up and help you feel the healthy glow that comes with exercising.
- Eat a nutritious diet: Some foods – such as dark chocolate, whole grains, bananas and fatty fish – can naturally help boost your mood and improve your mind-body connection.
- Get enough sleep: If you’re sleep-deprived, it can set a negative tone for your whole day. Make sure you’re getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night. When insomnia rears its ugly head, practice some relaxation exercises that help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Find Your Health and Happiness
Many people struggling with their mental health never seek the professional help they need to feel their best, both mentally and physically. Without treatment, however, these conditions can worsen and severely interfere with your ability to lead a fulfilling life.
No matter how dark things may seem at times, you deserve to find a better path that helps you recover your physical and mental health. If your burden has begun to feel too heavy, you shouldn’t have to bear it alone. Contact us at Serene Behavioral Health to learn more about the four levels of care we offer to meet our clients’ specific needs.