The undeniable tie between your mental and physical health
Most of us tend to think of our mental and physical health as two separate things, but the two are much more closely related than you might think. According to the World Health Organization, optimal health is a state of complete mental, physical, and social wellbeing.
This perceived separation between the body and mind leads people to believe that mental illness does not cause physical health problems. The truth is, your mental health and your physical health are undeniably tied and supporting one can also support the other.
Many of us don’t realize how fragile our mental health truly is. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and drug and alcohol addiction are extremely common, affecting as many as one in five adults.
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The tie between mental and physical health
How can your mental health affect your physical health? First of all, poor mental health can cause issues like substance abuse, which leads to a host of physical problems. Stress, depression, and anxiety can also weaken your immune system and affect your ability to fight off sickness and disease.
Neglecting your mental health can also lead to physical issues like obesity, digestive issues, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Most people will experience at least mild depression at some point in their life, which can lead to insomnia, chronic fatigue, and even chronic aches and pains.
Ways to support a healthy body and mind
There are many things you can do that will support both a healthy mind and a healthy body at the same time. Instead of focusing on one, why not prioritize both?
1. Exercise regularly
We all know how important exercise is for our physical health, right? It keeps your heart healthy, helps maintain strong muscles and bones, and of course, supports a healthy weight.
Well, it turns out that exercise is also great for your mental health, too. It encourages the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain called serotonin and endorphins. These chemicals not only reduce anxiety and depression, but they also elevate your mood.
Whether you choose yoga, weightlifting, intense cardio, or simply walking in nature, exercising regularly is a great way to support your mental and physical health.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is another one of those things we’re told to do for our physical health, and there’s no doubt it’s important. However, a diet that’s loaded with high-calorie, low-nutrient processed foods can also contribute to depression and anxiety.
We should all do our best to eat a wide variety of whole foods every day to ensure that we’re getting the nutrients our mind and body needs for optimum health. The bulk of your diet should be made up of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats like nuts and avocados.
3. Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
Lack of sleep contributes to stress, anxiety, and depression, which can all affect your physical health. Adults should aim for at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
4. Take care of your gut
Science is just beginning to discover the key role that gut health plays in both mental and physical health. Much of our mood regulation and emotional health starts in our gut, not our minds.
Over time, harmful bacteria and waste can build up in the intestinal system, leading to all sorts of chronic issues, including migraines and headaches. Skin issues like acne and dry skin can also be caused by an unhealthy gut. In fact, joint pain and chronic inflammation have also been linked to gut issues.
According to the functional medicine experts at Rahav Wellness, one of the best ways to give your digestive system a reset and remove toxic buildup is with a colon cleanse and hydrotherapy treatment. Therapeutic colon cleansing is an ancient technique that “clears waste from the gut and supports the digestive system.” It’s a safe and natural way to support your overall health, both mentally and physically.
After you give your gut a reset, consider including more probiotic and high fiber foods in your diet to keep your gut healthy. Eating a healthy diet as described above is also crucial for gut health.
5. Take a high-quality multivitamin every day
It’s no secret that nutrition plays a key role in both mental and physical health. For example, B vitamins not only give you more energy, but they also reduce depression and help the body manage stress. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for heart and brain health, but they also reduce chronic inflammation throughout the body.
Even with the best of intentions, it’s unlikely that you’re getting all of the essential vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients your body needs through diet alone. Incorporating a high-quality multivitamin into your daily routine is a great way to ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs for mental and physical health.
Mental and physical health go hand in hand and are equally important to your overall well being. Getting plenty of exercise, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy gut, and taking a high-quality multivitamin each day will go a long way toward supporting your body and mind. Instead of focusing on one over the other, they should both be a priority.
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