What do you do when you feel the symptoms of illness kick in? For most, the first inclination is to call a doctor. If your instinct in sickness is to seek professional care, why is there such a hesitancy to do the same for mental distress? For decades, there has been a stigma surrounding mental health, causing many patients to avoid professional help.
The importance of your mental health is equal to that of your physical wellbeing, as they work interchangeably. Here are three of many reasons why it’s important to care for both your mind and your body.
Don’t Just Survive…Thrive!
You’ve probably heard the expression of quality over quantity when it comes to aspects of friendship, schoolwork, or cooking. This common expression also applies to your health. If you sat down to talk with an elderly loved one, chances are they’d share the memories of their lifetime, not the number of birthdays they’ve celebrated. The quality of the life you live far exceeds the longevity. Your daily life should be one you can enjoy, not one you simply get through.
Quality of life boils down to daily care and awareness. Be sure to treat your mind and body as a vessel, feeding it with things it needs, not just what it wants. While it’s okay to splurge or divulge in things like sweets or lazy days, keep them at a minimum. Do things to feed your soul, find hobbies you love and get out in nature whenever possible. If you feed your mind peace, meditation, and joy, the health of your body will follow suit. Quality of life can start by adding daily supplements like collagen protein powder and various vitamins to keep your body’s levels in check. Something as simple as a vitamin deficiency can be enough to wreak havoc on your health.
Mind And Body Connection
The health of your body can often determine that of your mind, and vice versa. When your soul is uneasy, or you’re in a constant state of stress, it takes a toll on physical health. In times of increased anxiety, the brain sends stress hormones that trigger your body’s “flight or fight” response. While this response is a healthy function of the body during times of crisis, repeated episodes can be detrimental to your long-term health.
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When stress hormones are released, it causes rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and heightened muscle response. If you find yourself in these situations to a degree that these levels stay elevated, it can have a severe impact on your body. Chronic stress can result in depression, chronic migraines, insomnia, anxiety disorders, and a slew of social disorders. Having a constant increase in heart rate can also increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Not A Solo Act
It’s important to seek professional help when it comes to mind and body wellness. This can be as simple as regular exams with your general physician. Having yearly appointments for blood work and other forms of imaging, if necessary, can keep your body functioning at its highest capacity. Similarly, seeking the aid of a therapist or psychiatrist can keep daily mental health in good standing. There are plenty of resources available to find the best doctors with reviews, testimonies, and patient surveys.
Photo by Christina Morillo
Several health groups and medical practices have an online presence with real patient input, professional and educational history, and new patient resources. Researching to find the right fit for your unique needs is a key step to caring for the mind and body. Taking the steps to get professional advice and guidance can kickstart the journey to your best life.