We frequently compartmentalise the ‘mind’ and the ‘body’ as two different items but nothing could be farther from the truth. This opinion is based on a limited perspective of what we see and feel through our perceptions, rather than what we experience as a whole.

You see my parents grew up in an era where they thought that whatever health issues and disorders you suffered from were mostly down to destiny, in the event that you felt awful that was just how it was, if you’d indigestion, you just put it down to “I can not eat certain foods” and you treated it, Daily! Now, as we actually explore the connection between lifestyle, thoughts & wellbeing we understand that although many people might have been pre-disposed to particular health problems, there’s a lot we can do to enhance our lifestyle which could help us avoid them.

We still live in a world where the connection between mind and body isn’t fully explored. The reality is, physical health and mental health are inextricably linked. Many schools of thought and doctrine have known this for thousands of years but our own brand of modern day science and medicine is only just opening up to the possibilities.

We can observe the separation just by taking a look at our medical care system. ‘Physical care’ and ‘mental health’ are nearly always two distinct departments, with different medical professionals and various theories. Many times, they are housed in very different buildings using an entirely different approach to treatment. Want to experience this for yourself? Next time you end up in your GP with a cold or influenza, try asking

“Could my negative self-talk have helped bring this on?” 

Or through a consultation with IBS see exactly what your physician says when you ask:-

“Do you think I need to meditate more to decrease the inflammation in my system?”

You will find some very funny appearances to say the least! And I am not knocking the medical community, In actuality, I work with many of these as my personal trainer customers and collaborators to my posts, but I think these basic changes will need to happen in order for supplements and other health practices to be taken more seriously in the mainstream.

How psychological health affects physical health

The condition of our mental health is extremely important to the overall functioning of our body’s as a method. Controlling and optimising our psychological state is something we should all study and gain the requisite tools which will permit us to take responsibility for it. Mental health problems have been shown consistently to precede physical issues, no more so than at the Whitehall study, where a propensity to report negative thoughts and feelings was a significant predictor at the onset of cardiovascular disease.

Nearly half of the folks who suffer from a serious mental illness, such as chronic depression, have long-term physical health difficulties. Mental illnesses are also connected to an increased risk of cancer, strokes, back pain, IBS and a whole host of other ailments. Death from cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and infectious diseases are also higher in individuals who suffer with mental health issues like depression.

A shocking truth is that any diagnosis of mental illness in the general population increases the possibility of mortality at another 11 years with a staggering 70%. Anybody that has a self-diagnosis of being miserable also increases their likelihood of passing by 50%, while individuals with psychotic disorders die on average a quarter of a century earlier than people who don’t.

How physical health affects mental health

however, the reverse is also correct. Individuals who suffer from physical health issues are at a significantly higher risk of psychological problems, particularly depression and anxiety. It’s been stated in many sources that around 30 percent of people who have a long-term bodily issue also suffer with their mental health. We must consider, however, that depression may be the biological outcome of severe illness and can’t always be helped.

Strong links are made between melancholy and issues about the central nervous system, such as increased risk of MS, Parkinson’s Disease, and cerebrovascular disease. Additionally, there are cases of endocrine ailments listed, including hyperthyroidism.

Social interaction and self-value also play a part. When restricted by a disorder or illness, sufferers often withdraw socially and prevent the once-rewarding activity. People with depression, for instance, generally have two times as many days off work due to illness.  

Anxiety: The silent killer

Anxiety is a fast growing issue on a global scale. In 2015/16, stress-related disease accounted for 45 percent of all working days lost in the UK — adding up to approximately  11.7 million lost days overall.

It isn’t merely stress alone which causes trouble. Individuals that are subject to developing stress and mental strain are also a lot more likely to indulge in unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors. Dangerous pursuits such as excessive alcohol drinking, drug taking, smoking and junk food eating are all enormous industries since they help us manage our stress levels. We eat sugary foods because we want that ‘high’ to be able to get through daily. Unfortunately, these behaviors are addictive and generally result in a long-term reduction of health and quality of life.

The stats speak for themselves in this regard. Half of all tobacco is absorbed by people with mental illness. Obesity is also more common in people who have mental health difficulties. Drug and alcohol use is already established as a means to handle (but, unintentionally, exacerbate) mental health issues. All of these streets, though began with the best intentions, lead to more anxiety and problems in the future. Stress is unavoidable, and to some degree, the human body and brain is intended to get stronger in reaction to it, but just and this is critical, only if there’s the chance to release the pressure. Without adequate strategies to take care of the stress with the stressors in your life, over time it can and will cause you some serious health problems even when you otherwise consider yourself healthy and fit.  

Illness: The least known health risk?  

Inflammation is just another of the least known any exceptionally overlooked elements of the physical and mental health. Inflammation is a natural immune reaction within our own body, it helps protect and isolate the site of an accident and helps fight of harmful viral and bacterial invaders.

However, any of us live in a state of continuous inflammation, through accumulated stress,  a bad diet, inviting foreign substances into the human body or allowing fatigue to collect. This may indicate that your natural immune reaction is always  firing, weakening your immune system and leaving your body in a constant state of anxiety. To highlight how harmful inflammation is to the body it’s necessary to remember that psoriasis, Alzheimer’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Cancer, Diabetes and coronary artery disease are all diseases of inflammation.

How to become emotionally and physically fit

The stats and examples above highlight just how important it is that each one of us take personal responsibility for our psychological and physical health. There are a few simple ways we could do this, starting now:-

Eat well

It should come as no surprise that eating a consistently healthy diet is a significant element in physical health and, consequently, mental wellbeing. Numerous daily portions of fruit and veggies can positively influence our general sense of wellbeing. Maintaining sugar and processed foods intake low also helps us stabilise glucose levels, ensuring a smooth flow of energy through the day. Dependency on caffeine should also be kept to a minimum, as this may exacerbate anxiety and aggravate underlying stress symptoms. I also recommend an enormous reduction if not the elimination of famous inflammatory foods like poultry, milk, processed meats, artificial sweeteners and refined sugar.  

Exercise

Routine, moderate-to-high intensity exercise sessions may also have a substantial effect on mental wellbeing. Countless studies have concluded that physical activity can boost our mood, reduce anxiety, lessen anxiety and raise our self-esteem, in addition, to reduce our risk of disease and illness.

The key here is to pick a fitness regime that suits you and then commit to adhering to it. The setting and accomplishment of goals is also a wonderful way to encourage health, which will spill over into our physical circumstance and condition. Additionally, it doesn’t need to be intensive exercise even a brisk walk or seat yoga is sufficient to derive massive benefit concerning mood health benefits.  

Reflect

Taking time out each day to reflect on our lives is an excellent way to promote physical and mental health. Many millions of people around the world find solace from the early practices of yoga, meditation, contemplation and concentration. Even playing or learning a musical instrument has been shown to have profound cognitive advantages. Spend 20-30 minutes daily in one of those practices and you’ll probably see a massive difference in a brief amount of time. For information on meditation, check out our quick-start guide 

Socialise

We, people, are naturally social animals and we want regular social interaction to become emotionally fit. Social wellbeing and mental well-being are, in many ways, identical. A number of studies have highlighted the connection between the strength of our social relationships and our health. To put it simply, the more social we’re (in-line with our interests and intentions), the happier and healthier we will be. Successful social interactions also boost our self-confidence and self-esteem, which will then flow over into other areas of life (work, romantic relationships etc).

Conclusion

the primary takeaway that could be instantly applied to reading this guide is that we must create our mental health as much of a priority as our physical health.

Too frequently, we could fall out of equilibrium. The reality is, they match each other. Success in one must always come with success in the other. It has always been this way and the quicker we can recognise this as a society, the quicker we will reverse the tendency of depression and stress which characterises so many lives in today’s world and go on to live longer fuller lives.  Get a Better Shape, a better you.

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