Healthcare physicians often discuss the importance of caring for your physical and mental health as if they were two separate parts of the average person. They might even recommend antidepressants to combat mental health concerns and an exercise plan for your physical health.
However, many people don’t realize that their mental and physical health is linked and that actions you take to look after your physical health can also positively impact your mental health – and vice versa. If you’re currently on the path to better physical and psychological health, you might like to explore some of the following changes.
Eat Nutritious Food
Visit websites like Mushroom Revival, and you’ll see that basic ingredients present many desirable benefits. For example, many people include mushrooms in their diet to potentially enjoy immune support, mood and sleep benefits, and help with digestion and skin.
A healthy, balanced diet can be pivotal to your physical health, especially as diet is one of the most critical illness risk factors. Small changes might make more of a difference than you think, such as drinking more water, eating fewer processed foods, and consuming more fruits and vegetables.
While your physical health might benefit from such changes, so can your mental health. Studies show a link between processed and low-nutrient foods and increased anxiety and depression rates.
Incorporate Exercise Into Your Routine
As challenging as walking, running, cycling, or participating in other forms of exercise when you’re not feeling at your best can be, the physical and mental benefits of regular exercise are undeniable. After entering into a consistent exercise routine, many people experience improved muscle mass and function, better respiratory and cardiovascular health, and enhanced immune function.
However, the benefits aren’t all physical. The brain might also enjoy improved cognitive and executive function, better impulse control and memory, and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.
With time and consistency, people who exercise regularly might also enjoy more energy, elevated moods, and even mild pain relief. Starting a new exercise routine can be daunting, so start slow, pick activities you like, such as hiking and walking your dog, and set small and achievable goals.
Consult the Experts
Many people struggle to take care of their physical and mental health because they don’t have all the tools and information needed to make informed decisions. Consult the experts, and you’ll likely get what you need to start working toward better overall health.
You can rely on a number of experts to put you on the path to improved well-being, such as trained therapists or counselors, healthcare physicians, dieticians, and personal trainers. Once you have guidance and support from trained professionals, you can start making lifelong changes that allow you to enhance your physical and mental health and maintain it in the future.
Try Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation describes bringing your attention to the present moment. Practitioners typically let go of their past and future thoughts, accept the present moment, and get in touch with their senses. According to the American Psychological Association and National Institutes of Health, many benefits can be associated with mindfulness meditation, such as:
- Reduced rumination
- Stress reduction
- Working memory improvements
- Improved focus
- Reduced emotional reactivity
- Cognitive flexibility
- Improved immune functioning
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Lowered blood pressure
- Improved sleep
- Enhanced abilities to cope with pain
How Does Physical and Mental Health Interact?
You might know that exercise, healthy eating, and mindfulness meditation practices might all contribute to improved overall health, but it doesn’t hurt to understand the mechanisms behind mental and physical health interactions.
Typically, social determinants are the main factors, such as drug dependency, social isolation, poverty, and trauma. Abuse, neglect, and discrimination might also play a part. In turn, these social determinants can result in mental and physical health problems, such as:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- Physical and psychiatric effects of medications
- Eating disorders
- Excessive alcohol use
- Chronic stress
There can also be physical health side effects resulting from measures you take to improve your mental health. For example, some psychotropic medications result in weight gain, potentially putting you at risk of obesity and obesity-related illnesses.
Taking care of your physical and mental health can be a balancing act, and experts are often required to guide the way. However, by eating well, exercising, and practicing mindfulness meditation, you might be surprised by how many overall health benefits you might be able to enjoy.