Taking care of your health is not just about heading to the gym and getting fit. Overall wellness can only be achieved by focusing on your mental and emotional wellness. Unfortunately, when it comes to our overall health, many people focus only on their physical fitness and diet. Rarely do people talk about mental health.
It is not possible to heal a broken leg without getting medical attention. Similarly, it is not possible to achieve optimal health without taking care of your mind.
The Mind-Body Connection
While mind wellness is an integral element of overall health, there’s still a stigma around it. Research has shown that many people still believe mental disorders result in dangerous and unpredictable behaviors. This clearly indicates that there is a lack of awareness about the importance of mind-body connection.
Your mental health affects the way you think, feel and behave in your daily life, whereas physical health has been found to promote mental wellness. In the past few decades, numerous studies have linked mental and physical health together.
A study concluded that a small period of physical activity can improve our mental health and enhancing the intensity and volume of exercise can reduce the risks of numerous diseases.
Here are some more ways that indicate that mental wellness and health go hand-in-hand:
- Major depression disorders have been linked with an enhanced risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Mental disorders can have a major influence on your decision-making abilities and complications, including social isolation, misuse of alcohol and tobacco, family conflicts, and financial issues.
- Chronic illness, including diabetes, cancer, and heart issues, can also increase the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental problems.
Therefore, it is integral to take good care of not only your physical health but also your mental wellness.
6 Tips to Take Care of Your Mind and Body
Forming a mind and body connection is crucial for enhancing your overall health. Here are a few tips that can help take your mind and body wellness to the next level:
Your body needs time to recover from the stressors and pressures of everyday life. The recovery process of the body takes place while you are sleeping. Therefore, you must allow your body sufficient healing time by sleeping for the recommended seven to eight hours every night.
The foods you consume also have a major impact on your physical and mental health. Follow a healthy diet to provide your body with the optimal nutrition to heal and function properly.
Physical fitness isn’t only about lifting weights or running for an hour. You don’t necessarily have to follow an intense workout to stay physically fit. Merely a 15 to 30 minutes walk is sufficient to promote a healthy body and mind.
Opt to play your favorite sport, dance, take your dog out for a walk, take the stairs instead of an elevator, or make other small changes, and you will notice a difference.
One of the best ways of promoting mind and body wellness is often the most neglected one – unplugging from electronic devices. Constantly being on your phone or other devices and scrolling through other people’s posts have been found to impact our mental health negatively. Unplug for a few hours every day or do a weekend cleanse every month for enhanced mental wellness.
Meditation reduces the levels of stress, boosts immunity, and improves focus, along with other benefits. Take a few deep breathes during the day to regulate your stress levels or dedicate 10 to 15 minutes each day for yoga, breathing exercises, or just sitting quietly. It will help you cultivate peace of mind and restore your emotional and mental health.
Journaling is another great tool to improve your overall wellness. You can not only monitor your emotions, stressors, and gratitude, but can also create goals for different aspects of your life – finances, professional, health, and wellness. It can help determine your needs and enhance your self-awareness.
There are numerous ways of boosting your physical and mental health, aside from implementing these tips. Aim to include activities that you love doing, be around people who motivate and inspire you, travel more, and simply live in the moment.
Mind wellness and health indeed go hand-in-hand. It is essential to make your health a priority and make adjustments in your lifestyle to promote your mental and physical wellness. Practice mindfulness, improve your diet, meditate and be physically active to promote your overall wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when in need.
Mike Samar is a trained counselor at Mind Wellness Counseling providing evidence-based holistic approaches and guidance for people. He helps identify the main issues and creates actionable steps to help individuals make a positive change in their lives.