October 10th is World Mental Health Day. A day to create awareness about mental health, providing education on mental health, and assisting in standing against the typical stigma in society relating to mental illness. In most previous generations, mental health was a topic that was both unknown and feared, and many people suffered as a result. In our age and generation, we have the benefit of both medical knowledge, and the power of access to information. We are able to use the many tools we have available to educate ourselves and those around us about mental illness and mental health.
Mental illness is a vitally important topic affecting millions of people worldwide. In this article, however, we will shift the focus from mental illness to discuss the meaning of mental health, and what you can be doing on a daily basis to care for your mental health.
When we hear the term ‘mental health’, we often think of mental health disorders – we presume that mental health means the absence of these disorders. But did you know that mental health has a deeper meaning? Mental Health can be defined as “cognitive, behavioral and emotional wellbeing” – Medical News Today. When we use the word ‘wellbeing’ it changes our mindset from ‘illness’ to ‘health’. From this definition, we can see that mental health is about more than the absence of disorder, it is about wellness and happiness. This wellness allows a person to interact with the world around them in a meaningful way. Mental health encompasses our emotions and thoughts – how we feel, and how we think; which affect how we behave. It encompasses the impact of our thoughts and emotions on our life’s activities and the relationships around us. Similarly, life’s activities, responsibilities, and relationships impact our mental health, either positively or negatively. It is clear that every human being, regardless of age, working status, or stress level is included when addressing the topic of mental health. All human beings need to have a positive sense of wellbeing in their minds and emotions, which results in their behavioral and cognitive wellbeing.
A key contributor to our mental health is our physical health. As shown in this article by the Canadian Mental Health Association, poor physical health is an indicator of poor mental health – and certain chronic illnesses are known to lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. The Mental Health Foundation of the UK states in this article that “mental health and physical health are interconnected”. They explain that the role physical health plays with regards to mental health is significant, and interestingly, the opposite is also true. Physical health affects mental health, and mental health affects physical health.
Taking care of our mental health is as important as taking care of our physical health, as explained by the CDC. In the same way that we take precautions to prevent physical disease, there is great benefit in taking care and precautions to maintain our mental health. This means that we should be paying attention to one and both. And by attending to one, we will be tending to the other. This interconnection between physical health and mental health is referred to as the mind-body connection.
The mind-body connection is complex and has been studied by numerous medical institutions in numerous fields. A simple explanation of the mind-body connection is that it “is the belief that the causes, development, and outcomes of a physical illness are determined from the interaction of psychological, social factors and biological factors” –John Hopkins Health Care Solutions.
An easy example to understand the mind-body connection is how we respond to stress. Stress begins as a mental strain – and before long the person is seeing a presentation of physical symptoms due to this stress; fatigue, headache, muscle tension, and more. Stress also affects the emotional system and can create anxiety, which in some people will then lead to depression. The fatigue, headache, or muscle tension may lead to decreased productivity, which could lead to more stress, and the cycle continues.
In the same way that physical and mental health are connected, the ways in which we can improve them are also connected- they are essentially the same. Ensuring that we take care of both components of our health will go a long way in ensuring we are experiencing overall wellness.
Here are the top six ways that we can take care of both aspects of our health. All six involve adjusting or creating basic lifestyle habits that are worth the time and effort!
The top 6 ways to manage the mind-body connection, and care for mental and physical health are:
- Limiting unhealthy behaviors
- Getting good sleep
- Get enough sunlight
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet
- Drinking enough water
1. Limiting unhealthy behaviors
- Mental health and physical health are greatly affected by our habitual choices. Excessive alcohol intake, smoking, and unhealthy eating contribute to an unhealthy body and poor sleep, which in turn contribute to a decrease in mental health. Taking simple steps to limit alcohol intake, stop smoking and eat a healthy balanced diet will improve physical and mental health overall.
- Exercise assists in improving both your physical and mental health.
- An exercise is a tool for weight loss, which improves both physical and mental health.
- Exercise ensures that the body is moving well, circulating blood and increasing overall fitness.
- Exercise is well known to lift mood by the production of endorphins. Lowered stress is also a known side effect of exercise.
3. Getting good sleep
- Sleep is vital for healthy physical and mental function. We all know that sleep is needed for physical life to be sustained, but as stressed-out people of the 21st century, we often neglect the mental needs that a good night’s sleep fulfills. Ensuring that you get enough sleep for your body is vital. Taking the time to investigate how many hours of sleep are ideal for your body, age, and stress levels is well worth it!
- We have a great sleeping aid supplement at our online store called Kavinace.
4. Getting enough sunlight
- Sunlight provides us with vitamin D, which is necessary for brain function and contributes to improved mood. Stepping outside for a few minutes during your day can make a big difference.
- To help assist your vitamin D intake, read more about our supplement, NBHDK7.
5. Eating a balanced and healthy diet
- A healthy diet is needed for both physical and mental wellness. There are countless examples of people who began a weight-loss program or healthy eating program and ended up praising the mental health benefits they achieved as well as the physical benefits. Eating healthy foods has been shown to decrease inflammation, increase energy levels, improve sleep, increase immunity, and overall health of the physical body – feeding into the mind-body cycle we discussed above. Improvement in depression is also a notable change when eating healthily.
- Contact us today for a consultation – our all-natural and holistic approach is designed with supplements to support your overall wellbeing and focuses on a healthy approach to eating.
6. Drinking enough water
- Drinking enough water daily is vital for a healthy body. A dehydrated body is likely to create headaches – and as we know, a headache can lead to decreased productivity, which can lead to increased stress which leads to increased anxiety and/depression. Sometimes the simple task of changing your daily water intake can drastically change your frame of mind.
- Drinking at least 8oz per day is recommended – a simple way to achieve this is to carry your water bottle with you wherever you go throughout the day.
Often, when looking at the changes needed to care for or improve the mind-body connection, it is the motivation to get going that is the greatest challenge. Taking that first step can be daunting, but once you begin, the momentum of benefits created helps you keep making those positive habit choices. Having someone encourage you or keep you accountable for these simple steps can be of great benefit.
In summary, by caring for both our mental and physical health, we are able to achieve overall wellbeing in our lives. In honor of World Mental Health Day, let’s be aware of the importance of our mental health needs and take steps today to improving our wellness today!
Contact Natural Bio Health Today
Our team is dedicated to helping you understand the numerous factors that may be preventing optimal health. Learn more about taking control of your well-being with Natural Bio Health. Join the wellness journey to achieve optimal health, fight disease and boost immune health to combat viruses.
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