How are Mental Health and Physical Health Related?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

couple and dog running

“There is no health without mental health”. – World Health Organization

A 2017 study conducted by researchers from the United Kingdom found that mental health and physical health are cross-affected by both direct and indirect factors. The study suggested that for example, lifestyle choices and social interaction did impact both mental and physical health, and exercise proved to be incredibly important for both aspects. It seems that if we want to live a most healthy and happy life, we must maintain both mental and physical health. How is this so? Let’s explore.

The Mental Health Foundation states that poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems, just as a poor mental health state can negatively impact physical health. For example, a person with depression has a 67% increased risk for death from heart disease or from cancer. This is believed to occur because a person with depression is less likely to receive the routine healthcare they need to ensure their physical well-being.

Similarly, adequate exercise is needed to maintain mental health. When you exercise, you release and uptake feel-good chemicals, called endorphins, in your brain. Previous studies have shown that even small 10-minute bursts of exercise can increase your mental alertness, energy, and positive mood overall. As Psych Central emphasizes, anyone with a physical disease is likely to feel more psychological distress than someone who doesn’t, and those with poor mental health may experience more physical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, colorectal cancer, back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, etc.

Since mental and physical health are so intricately connected, many people are utilizing holistic methods of treatment. Holistic practices can be beneficial because they consider the whole person – their mind, body, and spirit – in treating them. Holistic practices may be used in conjunction with traditional medical practices, but what’s most important is that you seek treatment and begin recovery as soon as possible.

If you are currently experiencing poor mental or physical health, begin taking steps towards your well-being today. Stretch, go for walks, eat healthily, get plenty of sleep, associate yourself with loving and supportive people, practice healthy self-soothing exercises such as reading a good book or taking a hot shower to relax, and more. Starting these steps today could mean a healthier you in the future.





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