Emotional Wellbeing


Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

How Does Your Physical Health Influence Your Mental Health?

Physical and mental health are indistinguishably linked. Whenever one is doing well, the other will inevitably improve. Many people don’t understand the correlation between caring for their bodies and protecting their minds. The following three reasons are significant ways physical health affects mental wellbeing.

Improved Mood

The first way that physical health affects mental health is by improving mood. When someone’s physical health is poor, it’s easy for them to slip into a bad mood because all their energy is focused on healing. Additionally, factors like poor nutrition can make the cycle of mental illness continue. Eating processed, unhealthy foods leads to inflammation in the GI tract, which inhibits the growth and release of neurotransmitters in the brain. When these neurotransmitters are absent from the brain, it creates a feeling of hopelessness and depression. 

Regular exercise and high-quality nutrition are two of the best ways for people to use their physical health to boost their mental wellbeing. When it comes to exercise, routine movement increases the production of endorphins, which provide the classic “runner’s high” feeling. These chemicals help reduce pain, alleviate stress, and make life more enjoyable. High-quality nutrition from whole foods or natural supplements provides the brain with the tools necessary to heal itself and improve mood. Supplement systems like Thrive review with highly positive comments, with many people balancing their physical and mental health.

Lower Risk of Mental Illness

The second way that good physical health improves mental health is by lowering the risk of mental illness. While many mental illnesses have hereditary and environmental factors that play into diagnosis, physical health also plays a part. People with chronic and terminal ailments are far more likely to develop mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Because of the stress sickness puts on the body, the brain can’t produce all the needed chemicals. These vital hormones help regulate mood and emotion, so a continuous deficiency often causes mood disorders. 

In addition to lower risk of mental illness, improved physical health also reduces the risk of adrenal fatigue. When the adrenal glands are constantly excreting epinephrine in response to environmental stress, they become tired and worn, leading to adrenal fatigue. This condition causes increased stress levels, bone-deep tiredness, and reduced immune response. The only proven way to get rid of adrenal fatigue is through a healthy diet and proper amounts of rest. By maintaining good physical health, people can lower their risk of avoidable mental illnesses and chronic conditions.

Reduced Stress Levels

Finally, staying healthy reduces stress levels. Aside from general fitness, one of the main draws of regular workouts is stress relief. For many people, walking into the gym is a form of therapy. They can forget about the long day they had at work, the bills that are coming up, or the family drama going on and focus on their body. Along those lines, physical activity gives the brain something to do with stress. Rather than internalizing it all, working out is an opportunity to express tension in a productive and uplifting way. 

Additionally, exercise is proven to reduce stress in the moment. When someone works out, the brain releases something called endocannabinoids. These neurotransmitters attach to receptors in the brain, reducing pain, stress, and inflammation. As the name suggests, these molecules work similarly to marijuana. Even the simplest forms of exercise such as an evening walk can release these neurotransmitters in the brain. With consistency, people can use fitness to improve their immune response and reduce body-wide inflammation. By working out routinely, everyone from grandparents to teenagers can reduce their stress levels and live a happier, more satisfying life. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, the connection between physical and mental health is too extreme to ignore. By optimizing physical health, people can optimize their mental wellbeing.