The idea of being healthy varies from person to person, reflecting their individual priorities. For some, there’s a focus on the physical aspects of health, perhaps achieving an ideal body weight or meeting performance goals in a favorite sport. For others, a healthy existence may include feelings of peace, happiness, or gratitude. Others still may place importance on friendships and other social aspects of life.
In truth, overall health combines all these aspects and more. As the stigmas around mental health fade in public perception, more people than ever realize that addressing mental health issues is essential to their wellness. Dr. Jon Deam at Aveo Wellness in San Diego points to three ways your mental health is important to your overall health.
The interactions between mental and physical health
Perhaps the clearest example of the relationship between mental and physical health is between pain and emotion. Simply, it’s hard to be happy when you’re in pain. Chronic pain conditions can go beyond days filled with bad moods into outright depression. And dealing with pain or illness creates stress, which has very real physical effects on your body.
Conversely, periods of mental well-being provide the motivation you need to exercise, maintain nutritious eating patterns, and stay socially connected. Providing conditions for success for your mind is every bit as important as staying active and eating well. The more you understand the role of mental health, the clearer the definition of overall wellness becomes.
3 ways your mental health is important to your overall health
This cyclical interaction between body and mind means that addressing an aspect of mental health can benefit both physical and mental aspects, just as exercise can address both too.
Perhaps the most common challenge that people face is stress management. Everyone experiences stress in their own way, so it’s sometimes hard to identify what stressors affect you the most. As well as having negative effects on mood and emotions, the chemical responses of stress on your body trigger inflammation and put you at risk of a number of metabolic conditions.
The relationship between physical activity and mental well-being is as significant as the disease-fighting value of exercise. Physical activity is a treatment that helps reduce anxiety and depression, as well as provide stress management techniques. Anger, fatigue, and tension tend to ease up as well. Sports participation is also a gateway for social interaction.
A study from the United Kingdom established that poor diet played a direct role in the increase in mental health issues over the past half-century. The trend toward processed foods and away from fresh, whole foods may be a trigger that shows in case increases of Alzheimer’s disease, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia. But you don’t need to suffer a mental illness to benefit from healthy eating.
It’s not always easy to recognize the effects that mental and physical health have on each other. Two of the best tools for you to bring these aspects of your life into clear and connected focus are talk therapy and life coaching.
When you’re ready to unify and develop your overall health, contact Aveo Wellness by phone or online to arrange a personal consultation. Dr. Jon offers telemental health sessions, so you can improve your life from the comfort of your home. Connect. Grow. Be you. The process starts with your first appointment. Book now.