Physical and mental health are directly related. There is interconnectedness between the two, and the sooner that everyone learns this, then the sooner everyone will begin to feel healthy and happy. Emotional health depends on one’s awareness of their feelings, thoughts and actions. Consciousness over these three things can make a drastic difference in overall body health.
Often times, people allow major life events to harm their emotional health. While some of these events, such as death, leaving home or losing a job are detrimental, there are also positive life events that can wreak havoc on our health, such as getting married, having a baby and getting a job promotion.
Follow us as we unveil seven tips for tapping into, and ultimately improving, this mental and physical health connection.
1. Believe in the Truth of the Mental-Physical Health Connection
Understanding the emotional impacts of these actions is the first step. Emotions have such a stronghold on our physical health, so understanding this connection is the first step towards improving the mental-physical health connection.
Some of the physical symptoms associated with a poor mental state can be symptoms of another ailment, as well. However, recognizing that emotional status could be causing any of these symptoms may eliminate the wild goose chase associated with determining a cause.
Back, chest and head pain are common indicators of low emotional health. In addition, sexual issues, weight gain or loss, insomnia, and an upset stomach are also indicators of a weakened emotional state.
In addition, weak mental health can lessen a body’s immune system. This will allow your body to easily fall susceptible to colds and infections. Stress, anxiety and depression also tend to steer our attention away from our health.
2. Tell Your Doctor the Truth
Perhaps you have always wondered why your primary care physician is asking about your emotional health. After all, why would a doctor ask about our emotions when we are seeking help for our aching heads? Well, the doctor is asking because of the interconnectedness.
While this type of doctor is not a psychologist, they do understand that emotions and mental health contribute directly to physical health. Believe it or not, this doctor is completely qualified to help with your emotional ailments, as well.
It is imperative that you tell your doctor exactly how you are feeling, both physically and emotionally. Your doctor will not be able to tell how you are feeling emotionally just by looking at you.
Once you express your emotions to your doctor, they can help to alleviate the physical symptoms while you both look for ways that you can feel emotionally better, too. Chances are that if your negative emotional state does not improve while working with your primary care physician, then they may refer you to a psychologist.
Understanding the connection and accepting the fact that you must be forthright about your emotions only make up the first two tips. There are plenty of ways that you can help to improve your mental and physical health connection.
3. Express Your Emotions More Openly
There is such a negative taboo associated with emotional people. Particularly, the gender norms for men and women tend to make it normal for women to be more emotional than men. This gender stereotype leaves practically no room for men to have the emotional outlets that are required for optimal mental and physical health.
As humans, we need to vent and release our emotions. It is acceptable to express your emotions to friends and loved ones. Anyone who cares about you will gladly listen to you vent and release any tension that you may be harboring. However, be prepared for the fact that your loved ones may not know what to do.
In fact, sometimes our loved ones unintentionally make us angrier or more upset by some of the things they say. For example, perhaps your loved one tries to offer advice to you, and you do not agree with it or you become frustrated.
Be prepared for the fact that your loved ones are not trained professionals. They may not know how to handle your emotions, and sometimes it may be necessary to hire someone who is better prepared if you feel it is necessary.
It is important to remember, too, that you cannot overly release your emotions. Yes, your family and loved ones should be there for you when you have to relieve some stress. Yet, you shouldn’t obsess over these negative feelings all of the time. Read about our next tip to understand why.
4. Balance Your Life
Becoming overly consumed with our emotions, particularly the negative ones, will harm us physically. Loved ones may pull away from us, and this obsession can prove to be detrimental.
Finding a balance between our positive and negative emotions is key to optimal mental and physical health. Find the happy medium of releasing negative emotions, and mask them with positive ones in order to feel better and carry on with life.
The best way to do this is to think of the positive things going on in your life. Yes, it is easier said than done, but believe it or not, there is always something positive.
Finding the silver lining will undoubtedly help to improve your mental and physical health. In fact, scientists have proven that a positive outlook on life can help to improve your quality of life and also your physical health.
If simply finding a positive outlook is too difficult, then partaking in meditative type activities can help. Yoga or other physical activities that you enjoy can help you relax and think positively. Give them a try. In fact, finding a Zen-like state and calming down is our next tip.
5. Keep Calm and Carry On
Of course, remaining calm and veering away from any panic can help keep the mind and body healthy. However, it is important to remember that there is a mental calm in addition to a physical calm. Maintaining both a calm mind and body will help balance and regulate your emotions.
While yoga and other meditative activities can help achieve a calm state, simple breathing techniques can work just as well.
Deep breathing daily can help to lower blood pressure and clear the mind. Simply find a calm place.This may be difficult to do, but it must be a place where you will be uninterrupted.
Perhaps it is driving your car to work, the five minutes you have before picking the kids up from school, or the second you put everyone to sleep, there must be five minutes of time to yourself in order for this to work.
Set aside five minutes, and begin to breathe deeply. Take a deep, deep breath in for five seconds, and exhale for five seconds. Continue this counting method for the entire five minutes, and you will feel much calmer and relax, both in mind and body, when you are done.
Try some exercise, too. Exercise does not only support your heart and lungs, but it also releases endorphins. And, we all know that endorphins are potent chemicals that energize you and lift your mood. Your doctor can also recommend some great relaxation tips for you. In fact, your doctor can help you take care of yourself, which is our next tip.
6. Practice Emotional Resilience and Forgiveness
Prepping your body to handle stress, similarly to a rubber band, can truly help to control emotional and physical stability. Those who are resilient tend to let go of negativity and instead look at hard times as a challenge with the ultimate goal of growing as a person and broadening their horizons.
Those who are resilient also tend to forgive easily. Sure, the age old adage remains: Forgive but never forget. However, we highly encourage you to forget it.
Forgiveness, and true forgiveness is accepting the negative consequence that has occurred and completely letting go of any negative feelings associated with the consequence.
Studies have proven that those who practice true forgiveness are at a lesser chance of having their feelings hurt, have reduced bouts of anger, and experience fewer physical complaints, such as headaches and stomach aches. In fact, those who practiced forgiveness the most have better immune systems and longer lifespans versus their counterparts.
Turning into a resilient person can help us to feel better mentally and physically. We have one more tip, and perhaps this one is the most important of them all.
7. Look Out for Number One
If you are interested in achieving optimal mental and physical health, then you have to ensure that you are providing your body the adequate means to do so. Diet, sleep and exercise are the biggest factors associated with mental and physical health.
Make sure that you are consuming the appropriate nutrients to help your body feel better. Healthy meals are a great way to nourish your body, and drink plenty of water. In fact, any positive changes in your diet can help you feel better in a major way.
Healthy eating is the best way to ensure that you are on track for a healthier mind and body. Also, healthy eating can also encourage weight loss and improved self-image, both of which are other factors that might help to improve mental and physical health.
The average adult requires approximately six to seven hours of sleep per night. So, ensure that you are receiving enough rest. Exercising helps to relieve any anxiety or tension that you may be feeling. And, this release helps to keep the negative physical symptoms associated with a poor mental state from manifesting.
Avoid any harmful substances to your body, such as alcohol or drugs. These substances are sure to only cause you more harm than good.
Acknowledge that there is a connection between the mental and physical. Our bodies are complex structures, and the brain is directly related to our physical well-being. Ensure that your body is functioning as best it can with a healthy mind and body today.
If you think you are dealing with mental issues, or know someone with similar symptoms, then seek appropriate treatment. There is no need to suffer in silence when there are so many effective cures available. When you learn what triggers your stress, you will learn how to deal with these issues.