Does Mental Health Affect Physical Health?
Let’s face it. You’ve been ignoring your mental health needs. “I don’t want to work on my anxiety, so I’ll just deal with it for now.” But what happens when your mental health starts affecting your physical health? What if improving your mind improved your body as a whole? Read on to learn how your mind and body connect with one another, and consider this a jumpstart for your mental health improvement.
Physical Side Effects of Mental Health Struggles
Mental health issues can manifest in many different ways, including:
- Tummy troubles (constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach, gas pains, etc.)
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Loss of appetite
- Unexpected weight loss or weight gain
- Disorientation, fainting or dizziness
- Rapid pulse (common during panic attacks)
- Feeling “off,” even if you can’t explain why
Sleeping troubles are particularly detrimental because sleep impacts so many other aspects of your life. As you sleep, your brain processes thoughts and emotions from the day. Your body also uses this time to heal sickness and physical ailments. If your body doesn’t rest, that work doesn’t get done. Approximately 10-18% of the general population has sleep problems, but that jumps to 50-80% for people with mental health issues.
How Physical Health Impacts Mental Health
There is another side to this relationship. Physical health can affect your mental health. For instance, if you’re insecure about your weight, you may feel anxious or depressed looking in the mirror or seeing photos of yourself. If you can’t sleep, you may become irritable throughout the day or experience “brain fog.”
Since physical and mental health work hand-in-hand, it’s important to take care of both. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Get solid sleep when you can, or establish a sleep routine that at least lets you rest each night. Exercise, take in fresh air, and do what you can to nourish your body. This will make you better prepared to conquer your mental health struggles.
How to Improve Your Mental Health and Start Feeling Better
Set featured imageThere is no magic pill for mental health improvement. You have to find solutions and coping mechanisms that work for your lifestyle, personality and experiences.
How can you do that? By working with a therapist to find personalized solutions that work for you. Your therapist can help you put all the pieces of the puzzle together so you can cope, overcome, manage and thrive. You may even see an improvement in your physical health, thanks to the work you do on your mental health.
You could pursue psychological or neuropsychological testing to pinpoint the root cause of your struggles. Do you feel anxiety at work because you’re actually dyslexic? Could your mood shifts be explained by bipolar disorder or a form of depression? A professional evaluation could give you answers to build on and fast-track your mental health journey.
CNLD Testing & Therapy offers comprehensive mental health services, including psychological testing and judgement-free therapy. If you’d like to learn more about our services, feel free to call (734) 994-9466.