We can be grateful that in recent years there has been an increase in the level of attention given to mental health. For some time, there was a marked difference in the way people treated mental health conditions as opposed to physical ones. Even more recently, there has been a sense that to prioritize mental health is to downplay physical health and vice versa. In truth, over-emphasizing either side ends up hiding a deeper truth – that mental health and physical health are inextricably linked, and one often drives the other.
Human health is a holistic matter. Even within the physical spectrum, one illness or injury can lead to the development of another – such as when an individual trying to nurse a back injury places more pressure on their knees, for example. So when you’re trying to get yourself over a bout of ill health, it is important to look at all the angles. If you’re feeling run down, it might not be any one thing that’s got you feeling that way – and if you can get better on one front, it becomes a lot easier to recover on others. Let’s take a closer look at some examples of how physical and mental health relate to each other.
Recovery Can be Boring and Depressing
If you’re laid up with a physical injury, or have been prescribed rest as a treatment after a severe illness, you have a lot of time to think, and not a lot of opportunity to do much else. While, for many of us, the idea of days and weeks in bed or on the couch watching TV sounds like bliss, it can get tedious very quickly. When the mind gets idle, it’s easier for intrusive thoughts to find their way in, and, before too long, you can become isolated and depressed. A low mood can impact physical recovery, so it’s vitally important to find ways to keep your brain active when you can’t move around much. Talk to friends regularly and get some mental exercise, whether it’s learning a language or playing brain-teasing games.
Sorting Out a Physical Issue Can Lift Your Mood
From experience, I know that finding the right answers to help a physical condition can lift your mood exponentially. Hell, I’ve even left a simple facial or spa treatment feeling like a million bucks. So, taking steps to work on physical health or areas of discomfort does help you to feel better emotionally and mentally. An example of this is fixing your smile: if you’re uncomfortable with crooked teeth, you’re self-conscious about showing them, and you’ll be less inclined to smile. A product like Invisalign uses clear aligners to straighten your smile, making you less anxious about laughing and smiling. As you gain confidence, that oppressive sensation will lift, and you’ll have more of a shot at long-term well-being.
Eating Well Affects Every Area of Health
The concept of a vicious circle is particularly potent when it comes to how you eat and health. When you feel low, are tired or in pain, you will be more inclined to opt for quick and unhealthy dining options. The lack of nutrients in these foods will make it harder for your body to shake off an illness or for your brain to operate efficiently. Putting a health-conscious eating plan in place can affect both sides of the health coin at once, making you feel more energetic and less pessimistic. This in turn makes it easier to make better dietary choices, driving persistent improvement. Even just a few small changes can make a big difference. If you’d normally have a donut or a cookie, try replacing it with a banana and nuts and go from there.
I truly believe that when we recognize the definitive connections between body, mind, and spirit, where health is concerned, we naturally will obtain greater well-being. I know this isn’t always easy to see or act on, but it’s worth it. Listen to your body and soul, these parts of you will tell you what you need.
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Women’s lifelink, its owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors, and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.