Dr. Bill Price examines the significance of mental wellbeing with regards to physical health and proposes seven ways to enhance it.
It is pretty obvious that your mental health depends on your body. If you aren’t happy with the way your body looks, you will often be more self-conscious and insecure. There are studies that show exercise not only tones your body, but reduces brain fog, and improves memory and clarity.
However, what most people overlook is that your mental health also affects your body. I don’t just mean that if you don’t feel up to exercising, you aren’t going to burn as much fat, though that is a part of it. What I mean is that the more stressed you are, the more likely you are to get sick, catch a cold, the flu, or even COVID in these current times.
So it is important to take care of your mind and your body in equal parts. Let’s discuss what taking care of your mind to take care of your body looks like.
With so much to think about all the time, like bills, insurance, salary, and family, it can be hard not to feel overwhelmed or stressed out. Most people are anxious about something in their life. Stress and fear both create a fight or flight response in your body, which leads to increases in hormones such as cortisol or adrenaline.
These are important at certain times, but when they are released in large amounts, that is not good as it can lead to an hormonal imbalance. These hormones can increase your resting heart rate above what is recommended, which can lead to heart problems. Inflammation in the body can also occur, leading to aches and pains as well as irregular circulation.
Digestive issues can also become a problem. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the symptoms that can occur when your mental health is in poor condition. People also tend to drift to higher levels of substance abuse when they are stressed, depressed, or anxious. So as you can see, declining mental health can impact almost every part of your body, from your immune system to your stomach. This is why keeping mental and physical health in balance is so important.
How to improve your mental health
Here are several steps you can take to improve your mental health to improve your physical health:
- Keep active. Funnily enough, mental health starts with physical health. As I mentioned at the beginning, exercise can help to clear your mind and improve your memory. Keeping active is key even if it is just a few times a week.
- Meditation and mindfulness are important when it comes to handling mental health. This helps you to clear your mind and reduce stress and anxiety. It doesn’t help to exercise if you’re worried. There are times to stress, and there are times to let it go. Taking time to meditate and focus on breathing can help. This will enable you to focus on the positive rather than dwelling on negative things you can’t change right away.
- Spend time in nature – An effective way to lower stress levels and boost mental health is to spend time soaking up the sun’s natural light. Taking a walk outside, enjoying the fresh air, and connecting with nature can have a positive impact on one’s mood and overall sense of wellbeing. Additionally, spending time with a furry friend can add an extra layer of enjoyment to the experience. If you have a dog, taking them for a walk can benefit you both as it provides exercise and socialisation. So, next time you’re feeling overwhelmed consider spending time in nature for a mental and physical pick-me-up.
- Keep a journal. Maintaining a diary can be a helpful tool for improving mental health. By recording your thoughts, emotions, and experiences, you can reflect on your day, identify patterns, and gain a deeper understanding of your emotions. Journaling can also serve as a form of self-expression, helping you to process and manage your feelings in a healthy way. Furthermore, the act of writing down plans and goals can give you a sense of purpose and direction, which can lead to a more positive outlook and increased motivation.
- Do something you enjoy. Engaging in activities that bring joy into your life will have a huge positive impact on your mental health. Whether it’s pursuing a hobby, spending time with friends, or simply taking time to relax and unwind, doing what you love brings a sense of fulfilment and happiness. This will reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing.
- Embrace healthy eating. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can provide the necessary nutrients to support brain function and mood regulation.
- Get enough sleep. Quality sleep is essential for good mental health. It allows the body to restore and rejuvenate itself, helping to manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. By making this a priority, you can lead a happier, more fulfilling life.
In conclusion, it’s important to prioritise good self-care to create a healthier, happier, and more balanced life. Maintaining your physical health is crucial for your overall wellbeing. It can affect your mental health, and in turn, impact your quality of life. These seven ways can prove helpful for anyone looking to maintain a healthier mind and body. It is important to prioritise both physical and mental health as they are intertwined and essential to our overall wellbeing and happiness.
You can follow Dr Bill Price on LinkedIn and get more of insights into leadership, life and relationships, often from a NeuroScience perspective.
Also read: 7 Habits of Effective Leaders