Physical and mental wellness is both a crucial part of one’s overall health. Physical health has to do with the function of the body as a whole, while mental health has to do with emotional, social, and psychological wellness. Both are extremely important and neither should be neglected.
Many people already know why it’s important to take care of their physical health. Being conscious of your physical health puts you at a lower risk for a number of illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Good physical health means that all bodily functions are working properly, and eating well, getting in physical activity, and getting enough sleep all contribute to good physical health.
Several people make changes to their diet in order to lose weight. While this is effective (many times diet changes allow for quicker weight loss), it’s important to remember that how much you eat isn’t as important as what you’re eating. Of course, even the consumption of too much healthy food isn’t good, but limiting yourself to diet shakes doesn’t provide any benefit either. Focus on consuming nutrient-rich foods to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly.
Physical activity is a vital part of maintaining good physical health. Unfortunately, many people don’t get an adequate amount of exercise and this can be due to the fact that exercise can be intimidating. The good news is that exercise isn’t always running a mile every morning or lifting weights every day. Exercise is also playing your favorite sport, yoga, and meditation, and walking. Something as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, or parking your car far off in the back of a parking garage or lot to allow you to get in adequate exercise.
While exercise is an obvious part of maintaining physical health, many people tend to forget that rest is just as important. Rest in any form is good, whether it’s taking a rest day as a part of your daily exercise routine, or getting enough sleep at night. Even if you exercise and eat right, your physical health can still be negatively impacted if you don’t get enough sleep at night. Sleep allows your mind and body to recharge, and a lack of sleep can increase your risk for serious health problems, such as stroke, heart disease, and becoming overweight.
Mental health is just as important as physical health, though it often gets neglected. Stress is a normal part of life, but when it becomes too much and we don’t have the proper coping mechanisms, it can negatively affect our mental health. Our mental health can also be affected by traumas, such as abuse: mental, emotional, physical, and sexual. These types of abuse can occur anywhere: in the home, public places, schools, and there’s even abuse happening in churches. Mental health should be taken just as seriously as physical health.
Therapy is a very powerful tool, and it isn’t something that is only needed once trauma has occurred. Therapy can be used as a preventative measure, just as getting an annual physical screen for potential health issues. There are also different types of therapies, from the traditional form of simply talking, to expressive arts therapy that involves the creative process as a form of healing.
Self-care can be considered a form of therapy, though it’s even more beneficial when combined with professional services. Taking the time to enjoy your favorite things, whether it be your favorite foods, a good book, or even lighting your favorite candle, are all adequate forms of self-care.
Another benefit of maintaining physical health is that it has positive impacts on your mental health. Exercise is a great stress reliever and it can also improve your mood. Even eating a healthy diet can improve your mood and give you more energy. Keep in mind that serious mental health issues can’t be “fixed” with maintaining physical health alone, but good physical health doesn’t have a negative impact on mental health.
Most people have the ability to maintain their physical and mental health without any serious issues, but many people do not. Whatever the case is, it is always beneficial to seek the advice of a medical professional when it comes to both your physical and mental health.