Mind and body are two different entities, but they both are interconnected. One might wonder how, but everyone has experienced this connection at least once in their life. For instance, remember when you were too stressed about your exams or anything in life, and suddenly you started facing gastrointestinal issues? Or when your heart rate started to increase when you were too anxious?
In short, mental and physical health are closely related to one another. If you’re experiencing mental health issues, you’re likely to witness physical symptoms as well. In this article, we will explore the relationship between physical and mental health in depth.
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Common Effects of Mental Health on Physical Health
If you want to become healthy both physically and mentally, you have to identify your triggers and their side effects. Good mental health will keep you away from chronic or serious mental illnesses. Here are some common effects of poor mental health on physical well-being.
Some mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc., are linked with chronic illnesses, including arthritis, asthma, heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer. On the other hand, schizophrenia is associated with respiratory and heart diseases.
Dealing with a chronic illness can become extremely difficult if there is an underlying mental health issue. Research has shown a high mortality rate among people with mental health conditions and heart disease or cancer.
Another problem that people with mental health illnesses often face is trouble sleeping. For instance, they are always on the verge of experiencing sleep apnea or insomnia. Sleep apnea causes breathing problems while sleeping, while insomnia makes it hard for the person to fall asleep.
Sleeping problems can also worsen any existing mental health condition. It’s important to take at least 8-hours of proper sleep at night to avoid health concerns in the future.
A person is more likely to smoke if they struggle with mental health challenges than a person with good mental health. It’s also likely that a person with mental health issues smokes more cigarettes than someone with no mental health illnesses.
Take an example of a person who struggles with depression. Depressed individuals have lower dopamine levels, and they often turn to unhealthy options to stimulate dopamine production. The nicotine in cigarettes triggers dopamine production, so there is a huge chance that the person might get addicted to it.
People opt for such routes to get temporary relief. It’s necessary to address the underlying issue before catering to the bad habit.
Common Physical Health Conditions Affecting Mental Health
Mental health is not the only thing that influences physical health. Some physical problems also lead to severe mental health challenges in the long run.
For instance, psoriasis is a skin condition that can affect a person’s overall quality of life. It can also cause stigma, anxiety, and rejection in a person. Furthermore, it leads to psychological and emotional distress as well. Apart from it, cancer and heart diseases are other issues that can cause depression and anxiety in a person.
Many serious medical conditions are associated with low mood, loss of interest, and sleep troubles, so it’s necessary to take care of both to enjoy a good life.
How to Improve Your Physical and Mental Health?
It’s necessary to improve both if you wish to enjoy a good life ahead. Here are some ways to take care of mental and physical health:
- Exercise Regularly. This is one of the most important ways to manage your mental health. Exercising increases blood flow and makes you feel energetic at all times. It also makes you physically fit and increases your mental alertness.
- Eat good food. What you eat is what you become, so make better choices if you wish to live a healthy life. It’s best to eat more fruits and vegetables than fats and processed sugar.
- Get proper sleep. People must get proper sleep of 7-8 hours in a day. You can also take a small nap of 30-minutes in between the day to stay active and alert.
If you wish to become better both physically and mentally, start reading ‘A Notebook of Love’ by Luis Trivino. It’s a motivation manual by someone who has faced all of these issues and managed to overcome them.