Mind Over Matter: The Link Between Physical And Mental Health

by - January 21, 2019

For those amongst still sticking fast to New Year’s resolutions (almost one month in, keep it up!), health is a priority. Exercise, diet, better sleeping patterns, all can help you feel and look better, as well as avoiding the risk of chronic illness. However, you shouldn’t be focused solely on the physical. Rather, here, we’re going to look at the importance of your emotional health, how the two intersect, and what you can do to take care of yourself.

Skin health
Though it might not be the most important factor for all, for some, skin is a vital part of our self-esteem. Feeling confident in our appearance makes a huge difference in life, which can be undermined by breakouts of acne, rashes, and skin conditions like psoriasis. The higher levels of cortisol released by those suffering stress can make these breakouts all the more common, however. A little self-pampering with a home spa can help treat your skin with care while helping you relax, too.

Aches and pains
Chronic pain, such as a joint injury caused by exercise or lower back pain (the most common source of disability) can be greatly affected by stress, too. That stress hormone, cortisol, also causes our body to remain tense, putting more pressure on our joints and muscles. Services like a Jasmine Traditional Thai Massage help attack the problem from both angles. Massages naturally help you relax by creating a spa-like experience, but also by helping to work out the tension built up in muscles, both immediately alleviating pain as well as helping to manage its levels in the long run.

Your heart health
Stress is not good for your heart, we are all aware of that to some degree. Similarly, anxiety can have much the same effect on it. While not a direct risk of heart disease, it’s still a risk factor, having a role to play in the inflammation of arteries, which can lead to angina, heart attacks, and strokes. Physical activity, as shown at Everyday Health, and a healthy diet can both ensure you’re taking care of your heart while helping to correct the hormonal imbalances caused by stress and helping you work off that tension.

Even chronic disease
Although the causal link isn’t thoroughly established, emotional health issues like depression can even impact those living with chronic health conditions like diabetes. Depression not only affects motivation and schedule, making it harder to manage your self-care and treatment, as suggested at WebMD, but those with both diabetes and depression have been shown to experience the symptoms of their condition more severely. If you’re undergoing treatment for a chronic condition, don’t be afraid to mention your emotional and mental worries as well, as your doctor could have access to resources such as support groups you could benefit from.
Self-care and self-awareness of your emotional health are crucial. If you can identify feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression, you can begin to take the steps to conquer them. It’s not easy, but it’s vital for not just your mental wellbeing but your physical health, too.

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