Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

Listen to Your Body: Understanding the Connection between Physical and Mental Health

How often do you sit and listen to your body? If the answer is, not very, then it is time to make a change. Your body has many ways of letting you know when something is not quite right and there is a deep connection between your physical health and your mental health. This is often overlooked, but it holds a lot of weight, and here are the reasons why.

Stress Impacts Hormone Production and Balance

When you really think about the impact of stress on hormones, there are a lot of considerations. Cortisol is one of the biggest influences on how we feel. If there is too much cortisol in our system, it is impossible to focus, sleep, think straight, eat right, engage with relationships, or perform in our job.

It severely impacts how and what hormones you can produce, especially things like testosterone and estrogen. This is a direct path to suffering from an imbalance and a clear indicator of how things like low testosterone production are a symptom of how mental health affects you physically.

Poor Mental Health Influences Chronic Illness

There have been lots of studies that suggest people who carry significant, prolonged mental health issues are often afflicted with chronic illnesses. These illnesses may vary, but the base concern remains the same. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and more are major factors in determining how well we can feel physically. They are well known to be associated with many chronic conditions that stand no chance of being improved or resolved when poor mental health is playing a role.

Common Mental Illnesses Accelerate Aging

It is also true that certain things that go on in the mind can heavily impact the rate of aging. While there is no defined link as such, there is enough narrative to show that things like ADHD, which is a well-known condition that causes increased anxiety and depression, can impact life expectancy. This is not the only one.

Poor Diet Links

Mental health struggles also impact the way a person eats. Poor diet leads to poor physical health and that is the link to take note of. It is difficult to eat healthy, balanced meals when you are feeling strong emotions and struggling mentally. If you are not eating right, you won’t feel better about yourself, and the mental battle will continue. This may feel like an endless loop, but there are positive changes within. That first step towards eating right doesn’t have to be major. Include a few vegetables once a week, and that will be enough to get the ball rolling. Or, have a day where you boycott sugary foods instead.

How to Manage the Two Things Peacefully

How can you make sure you are handling both in a way that suits your lifestyle and supports better health overall?

Regular Exercise

Working out once or twice a week will certainly help. This produces so many good hormones in the body that they are organically impacting mental health whether you realise it or not. Try to do some cardio or head to the gym and do a strength training workout.

Eat Right and Drink Water

Eating right may not come quickly or even naturally, but if you can find a way to make it happen you absolutely should. The same is true of drinking water. Swap out those sugary sodas and make sure you are drinking enough pure water throughout the day.

Learn How to Relax

True relaxation is more than just sitting down and stopping. You must take the time to recalibrate. Learning how to relax is a skill, but an invaluable one.

There is a strong connection between your physical self and mental health. Take care of one, and the other will follow suit.