According to the WHO, health is the “state of total physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. This means that a person’s overall health has a direct impact on almost every aspect of their life, including their mental and physical health.
In fact, experts believe that good mental health can have a significant effect on physical health, and vice versa. Simply put, any physical injuries and symptoms you may experience can affect how you think and feel. In turn, your thoughts and emotions can also have an impact on your body and affect how you feel physically.
Read on to better understand the relationship between mental and physical health and how it affects your overall well-being.
The power of positive emotions
While it is normal to feel both positive and negative emotions, positive emotions can have greater effects on your mental and physical health. Your mood will be better if you are happy, proud, or grateful than if you are sad, angry, or stressed. This reduces your risk of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted as well as the risk of developing potential health problems.
For instance, whenever you feel down and want to lift your spirits, you can always turn to the readings of motivational writers and saints such as St Matthew, to help you see the world from a different perspective and develop positive emotions. This, in turn, will have a great impact on your mental and physical health.
Genetic conditions affect the overall well-being
It is well known that both physical and mental health conditions can be hereditary. Your family’s health history can actually determine the risk of you suffering from a genetic condition that will affect your overall well-being.
Common examples of physical health conditions that may be hereditary include heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancer, and asthma. All of these conditions can have a negative impact on your mental health and lead to the development of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.
However, even if you aren’t suffering from a physical illness, poor mental health can easily increase the risk of developing one. Keep in mind that stress is often regarded as the number one cause of any illness and disease.
Staying physically active is key
There is no denying that living with constant pain can be mentally, physically, and emotionally stressful. Whether you feel the tension in your shoulders, neck, or back, it can easily lead to more anxiety, depression, and exhaustion.
Luckily, there is a way to reduce these symptoms and that is to exercise. Engaging in regular physical activity can help you stay mentally healthy. Exercise kicks up endorphin levels, which is the body’s chemical that produces feelings of happiness and euphoria.
In addition, doing regular gentle exercise produces an anti-inflammatory response, which can help relieve any pain symptoms you may be feeling.
Eating right is important
You may not realize it, but what and how you eat can also have a great impact on your overall well-being. The truth is eating well can significantly reduce the risk of many health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. So, your diet should consist of various foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and dairy products, all of which contain numerous essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help you stay healthy.
In addition, eating right can also have a positive effect on your mental health. A well-balanced diet can lower the risk of some mental health conditions such as depression, whereas eating foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats will do just the opposite.
An effective way to have a positive impact on your well-being is to take up a hobby. Hobbies are purposeful activities that offer plenty of mental and physical health benefits including alleviating stress, boosting mood, and lowering blood pressure and heart rate.
Whether it is drawing, dancing, cooking, or reading, there are plenty of hobbies you can choose from to improve your general health. All you have to do is spare a few minutes or an hour of your day and spend your time doing an activity you love.
Taking care of your health has never been so important as it is now. Luckily, there are many ways you can stay on top of your health and reduce the risks of developing severe physical and mental health conditions, which can negatively affect your welfare.
In case you want to learn more about the intrinsic bond between physical and mental health, be sure to refer to our post and read about the close connection.