Mental and physical health are inextricably linked. Research has shown that people with a strong sense of purpose, meaning, and fulfillment in life experience better physical health.
Similarly, people with excellent mental health tend to have stronger immune systems, recover faster from illness, feel less stressed out during challenging times such as cold and flu season, and experience improved cardiovascular function.
Both mental and physical health are important for overall well-being. Read on to find out how they affect one another.
Get Premier Behavioral Health Services at Urgent Care Philadelphia:
Before discussing the ways your mental health affects your physical health, it’s important to know where you can get the care and attention you need if you’re experiencing issues with either part of your health.
Urgent Care Philadelphia offers behavioral health services for those who need them most. Mental health is essential to overall health, which is why Urgent Care Philadelphia offers a wide range of services to help patients cope with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Urgent Care Philadelphia also offers essential services to help patients get the care they need to improve their mental and physical health.
In addition, Urgent Care Philadelphia also provides urgent care services. And when you’re feeling your worst, it’s important to have someone to talk to. That’s why Urgent Care Philadelphia has telehealth services that can connect you with a mental health professional from the comfort of your own home.
Now that you know where to get the services you need for optimal health and wellness, read on to discover the ways mental health affects physical health.
Change Your Thinking To Change Your Body:
Your mind and body are intricately connected—and one can affect the other. For instance, chronic stress can cause stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine to become chronically elevated, which can increase blood pressure and blood sugar levels, weaken immune response, and increase risk of disease.
On the other hand, positive emotions have been linked with lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), lower blood pressure, improved immune response, and better cardiovascular health.
Feeling depressed, anxious, or stressed can lead to physical symptoms like poor sleep, headaches, and gastrointestinal issues. But, getting your mental health under control can also help improve your physical symptoms—for instance, getting enough sleep and eating better.
Exercise and Diet Are Essential for Mental Health and Physical Health:
Exercise is an effective way to reduce anxiety and depression, improve mental health, and increase energy. It can also improve your overall health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
If you’re experiencing mental health issues, exercise can help reduce stress, improve your mood, increase feelings of self-worth, and create a healthier lifestyle overall.
What’s more, regular physical activity may help lower the risk of developing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Diet is also important for mental and physical health.
Eating a healthy diet full of fruits and veggies, along with whole grains, fish, and low-fat dairy, can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes—diseases that can take a toll on mental health.
Depression and Anxiety Have Wide-Reaching Effects on the Body:
If you’re struggling with depression, your mental health may also be affecting your physical health. Research has found that people with major depressive disorders are more likely to experience a wide range of medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.
In fact, people with major depression tend to have shorter lifespans than those without depression. This may be due to the fact that people with depression are less likely to take care of themselves, are less compliant with medical advice, and are therefore less likely to be compliant with treatment for other physical diseases.
Similarly, anxiety disorders can also affect physical health, increasing the risk of heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Managing Chronic Disease Is a Constant Balancing Act:
People living with chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, asthma, or cancer face a constant balancing act between managing their disease and managing their mental health.
For instance, people living with diabetes have to carefully monitor their blood sugar levels and be mindful of what they’re eating to reduce the chance of complications. Others may need to carefully track medication intake or undergo lifestyle changes to manage their condition.
In addition, people with chronic diseases often also experience anxiety or low mood, which can complicate treatment and negatively impact quality of life. Some people with chronic illnesses may benefit from connecting with a mental health professional who can work with them to manage both their physical and mental health.
Now that you know how your mental health can affect your physical health, you can work on making changes to improve your overall health and well-being. If you’re struggling with mental health issues, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available to you, and treatment can make a big difference.
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