October 7th 2018 marks the start of Mental Health Month in Victoria, this year it coincides with Mental Health Week, which is celebrated annually throughout Australia. With this in mind, we’re going to look at the connection between physical and mental health.
Mental health can directly impact on physical health and wellbeing. Likewise, physical health can directly impact on mental health and wellbeing, so it’s easy to see the importance of taking care of both aspects.
Poor mental health can affect your motivation and decision-making ability, often inhibiting your capacity to make healthy choices. Things like eating healthy and exercising, which contribute to boosting your mental health and energy levels, can tend to lose out to unhealthy “comfort foods” and sedentary distractions, such as television. These choices then in turn cause weight gain, lowered self-esteem, fatigue, aches and pains, among numerous other issues, contributing to a vicious cycle of poor mental and physical health. If the cycle is continued, it can lead to a further decline in health and other serious health complications such as heart disease, obesity and a weakened immune system.
Tips for a healthier mind and body
For optimal health of your mind and body, you need to work on taking care of both. Here are some ways you can improve your mental and physical health and wellbeing:
Exercise regularly – it releases feel-good chemicals, and keeps you feeling good for much longer than that bar of chocolate.
Eat a healthy diet – the fresher and least processed the better. A variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and healthy fats all contribute to healthy brain function.
Get adequate sleep – that is seven or more hours per night. It is important for regulating your mood and various functions of the body.
Socialize – building and maintaining good relationships contributes to having a sense of wellbeing and belonging. You could also combine socializing with exercise.
Seek help and support – ignoring issues; whether they be physical or mental, can often make the situation worse. When you keep issues to yourself they can tend to grow out of proportion. Seeking the support of a professional or otherwise, can provide perspective and advice for working through or overcoming the issues. It also helps to feel that you’re not ‘going it alone’.
Whether you’re struggling with physical pain, discomfort or restrictions, or you would like a physical assessment for peace of mind or to see what physical activities might be suitable for you, come and see our friendly team at 13th Beach Health Services. Treatment from one of our caring practitioners can help not only the physical aspects of your condition, but also relieve the associated mental distress. We offer Osteopathy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Clinical Pilates and Remedial Massage at both of our clinics based in Barwon heads. Call today on (03) 5254 2668 to see how our practitioners can help with your unique situation.