physical health and mental health

Mental Health and Physical Health

There is a clear distinction between our mind and body. This is the reason why many people don’t link mental health and physical health as they are often thought of as separate entities. But maybe it’s time to consider that our mental health and physical health are actually connected in so many ways than we think.

The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. But we tend to only think of the physical aspect of our health and disregard our mental health. This should not be the case. We should discuss our mental health the same way we discuss our physical health.

So, how are these two terms connected?

How Does Mental and Physical Health Interact?

According to WHO, mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. To put it simply, mental health impacts how a person thinks, feels, and acts. People who struggle with their mental health often have a more difficult time managing their overall health, and that includes their physical health.

how mental health affects physical health

Let’s face it, most people put priority in their physical health more than their mental health. If we feel that there’s something wrong with our body, we immediately consult a doctor and do a series of tests. But if we feel that there’s something wrong with our mind, we tend to neglect it. Because of the perceived disconnection between our “mind” and “body”, people think that mental health does not affect physical health. However, in reality, our mental health has a direct impact on our physical health.

Many of us are not aware of how many people experience mental illness each year because a lot of cases are unreported. One of the reasons why this happens is because misunderstanding and stigma surrounding mental disorders are widespread. There is a belief that people who have mental disorders are difficult to deal with, not intelligent, and some even think that they don’t have the capability to make decisions. Because of this stigma, people with mental illnesses experience rejection, isolation, and even abuse.

Mental disorder is more than just being depressed. It covers a different range of problems, from the ones that affect the mood to those that affect thinking and behavior. Some of the prominent mental illnesses include:

Here are some interesting facts and statistics about mental health and disorder:

  • Around 20 percent of the world’s children and adolescents have mental disorders. What’s more disturbing is that about half of mental disorders begin even before the age of 14.
  • There is already a growing challenge on mental disorders, especially in the U.S., where an estimated 44 million people experiencing mental disorders each year.
  • One of the most common mental illness is depression which affects 300 million people around the world. This disorder claims about 800,000 lives every year. There is even an indication that for each person who died of suicide, there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.
  • The World Health Organization projected that by 2030, depression will be the leading cause of global disease burden.
  • Mental disorders are important risk factors for other diseases as well as intentional and intentional injury. People who have mental disorders have a higher risk of getting other diseases such as HIV, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many more.

Connecting Your Mind and Body

It is important that you take care of both your mind and body. It is the best way to maintain and improve your physical and mental health. Here are some ways you can connect your mind and body:

    • Exercise regularly.
      Exercising every day is a good opportunity to be active and improve your mental and physical health. When you exercise, your brain releases feel-good chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that eases the feeling of depression and anxiety. You can aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day or choose a program that works best for you.
    • Have a healthy diet.
      Developing healthy eating habits can be beneficial to you. You just have to make sure that you are eating food derived from plants such as vegetables, fruits, and nuts and limit eating highly processed food. Studies show that a healthy diet can give you numerous health benefits as well as reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases.

sleep improves mental health

  • Make sure to have enough sleep.Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout one’s life. It helps your brain work properly. Sleep deprivation can affect how you make decisions, solve problems, and control your emotions. In the long run, not having enough sleep can harm your body in the long run. Make sure that you have more than 7 hours of sleep every night to lessen the risk of anxiety and stress.

There are a lot of ways where you can take care of your mind and body. But if you need a professional who can help you in improving your mental health, you can give Dr. Mark Herbst a call. He is one of the best psychiatrists in the Los Angeles area. If you’re struggling with something, schedule a time to come in and talk with Dr. Mark Herbst.

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