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Published on February 29, 2024

How Physical Health Improvement Could Also Improve Your Mental Health

It might seem like a little thing, but when you feel in good health, your mental health is going to improve as well. That’s why quality of life improvements are one of the main treatment courses for those with chronic, long term illnesses. 

After all, there’s a high comorbidity between conditions involving things like mobility issues and mental health problems like depression. Or if you’re someone with hearing loss, even just a hearing aid can make life a whole lot better. When life feels normal, you’re more likely to feel happy! 

That’s why you should focus on physical health when you feel unbalanced in your mind. As such, here are a few of the ways an increase in physical health can make your mental health positive too. 

Your Brain Floods with Endorphins

Endorphins release whenever we experience something fun or something stressful. Sure, exercise might not feel all that great when you first start out, but the aftereffects cannot be understated. 

And seeing as you’re putting your body under stress when you go for a run, those endorphins are going to come flooding out and make you feel amazing!

Of course, this isn’t an option for everyone. Some people have reduced mobility or simply don’t have the time to dedicate to running or swimming once a day. In these cases, try to do what you can. Doing arm workouts if you’re bedbound, or five minute stretches at your desk, are both great for getting those endorphins rolling. You may not get as much of a rush, but you can build up your movements over time. 

Feeling Stronger Doesn’t Just Happen in the Muscles

If you focus on stretching or weightlifting, it’s not just your muscles that are going to get stronger. Your neural pathways are going to be affected as well. These get worked out just as much as your arms and legs, and that makes for a much stronger, closer connection between your brain and body. 

When neural pathways are built between your mind and a healthy coping mechanism, no longer will you default to unhealthy, negative mechanisms that you may have used in the past. It takes active effort for these new pathways to come about, but the more you practice, the more you’re going to use these skills without even realizing it. 

If you want your mental health to improve, focus on revamping the way your brain works from the outside in. It’ll take some getting used to, but it can work wonders on both areas of your health. 

There’s a Lower Emotional Load

When you don’t have to deal with the same level of physical impairment, the mental load of dealing with a physical health issue isn’t going to drag you down. People in wheelchairs who live in homes with wider doorways and a ramp up the front door are going to be able to manage their disability a lot better than someone who has to live in a top floor apartment. 

Similarly, for someone who has a vision impairment, access to LASIK surgery could be the difference between good mental health and poor mental health. The less you have to plan around the issue, and the less you have to worry about something going wrong, the better your mental health is going to fare. 

When it’s Easier to Sleep, it’s Easier to Feel Stable

A lot of things can affect the way we sleep, and the quality of the sleep we get when we do. If you’re not experiencing the same level of chronic pain, for example, dropping off is going to become a lot easier. You may also stay asleep for longer, allowing your body to properly rest and heal. 

Sleeping helps the brain to settle as well. When you’re asleep, nothing really matters apart from the dream you’re currently going through. That can help you to take a break, unplug, and relax when you need to. If you get more sleep, you’re going to wake up much more refreshed, and that could change the way you handle your health throughout day to day life.  

Making changes to improve your physical health is something we’re all interested in. However, the level of accessibility involved in these changes is what really informs our lives. That’s why, when your mental health feels in trouble, it’s important to reach out to those who can help. Small changes that make your life easier are going to boost your mental health right back up again!

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