How does mental health affect physical health?


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Your emotional health affects your physical health

Your emotional health and physical health are intertwined. Your emotional health can affect your physical health, and vice versa.

When you’re stressed out or anxious, it can make you more susceptible to physical pain or illness. If you’ve ever had a panic attack, then you know how your body reacts to stress: the pit in your stomach; the racing heartbeat; the dizziness; the feeling of being overwhelmed by negative thoughts that seem impossible to escape from. Those feelings may be temporary but they can have lasting effects on your body if not properly managed over time.

Stress has been linked with an increased risk for many chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, depression, and cancer in some studies—but it’s still unclear exactly how much stress contributes directly versus indirectly (i.e., triggering behaviors like smoking or overeating).

Your body and mental well-being are connected

In our society, we tend to see mental health as separate from physical health. But in reality, the two are connected and intertwined. Mental health affects physical health and vice versa—and neither should be neglected.

Mental well-being is important for a variety of reasons; it makes us feel better about ourselves when we’re down, helps us cope with stress better, and improves our overall quality of life. In addition to those benefits, there are also some real connections between your mental state and your physical body that can contribute to disease risk factors like obesity or heart disease.

For example, people who experience clinical depression have been shown to have higher cholesterol levels than non-depressed individuals; anger has been linked to high blood pressure; while anxiety has been associated with frequent headaches (1).

Stress can affect your overall health

Stress can lead to a wide range of health problems, including mental and physical illnesses.

Stress can cause you to overeat or undereat. Stress can also cause you to drink too much alcohol, smoke cigarettes, abuse drugs, and even develop heart disease. These behaviors all lead to additional stressors that negatively affect your body’s ability to function at an optimal level.

In addition, the constant state of “fight or flight” that people often find themselves in when they are stressed out will also start draining their energy as well as their desire for social interaction with other people.

Dealing with stress in healthy ways can help you avoid depression and anxiety

Stress can be a serious problem for people who are already dealing with mental health issues or physical health problems. Stress can cause depression, anxiety, and other health problems. It can also lead to overeating, not sleeping well, and feeling isolated from others. These things make you less productive at work or school and may cause you to feel like you don’t have friends anymore.

Stress is unhealthy for everyone, but it’s especially harmful if:

  • You have a history of depression or anxiety
  • You have chronic pain
  • You have an autoimmune disease such as lupus or fibromyalgia

Exercise can be a positive outlet for emotional distress (changing into gym clothes, stretching, and moving, can immediately calm you down!)

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Healthy eating and getting rest are key to managing anxiety

Eating well and getting enough sleep are crucial to managing your anxiety. When you’re feeling anxious, eating a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help you feel better. Additionally, getting enough sleep is important for your mental health as it helps you to feel rested and energized in the morning.

You can improve your mental and physical health by taking care of yourself.

You can improve your mental and physical health by taking care of yourself. Neglecting your mental health may cause you to feel worse physically.

  • Remember that it’s ok to take time for yourself. You don’t need to be superhuman! Take some time each day just for yourself – maybe a walk, or watch a movie, or listen to music. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress, try doing yoga at home, or going for a run outside if it’s sunny out (if not then go inside).
  • Try not to worry about things too much! Overthinking can make a person stressed out because they are constantly thinking about what could happen in the future instead of enjoying what is happening now. Try using positive affirmations whenever something negative comes into your mind so that you can focus on positive thoughts instead of negative ones! For example: if someone bumps into me while walking down the street and makes me drop my purse full of money onto the ground while I’m trying both hands full carrying two bags of groceries then say aloud “It must have been meant specifically for this moment” rather than focusing on how upset we might get later when someone walks off with our money before we even realize what happened…or even better yet just laugh because sometimes these moments happen unexpectedly but all we need do is enjoy them while they last 🙂


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