By Paige Bobak

Have you ever felt like your mental and physical health are connected? That’s because they are! The state of one health can significantly affect the other. There are many ways to make sure both aspects of your health are thriving!

There are so many reasons why one aspect of our health could start to decline- for example; pressure at school or work, physical health issues, a loss of a loved one, a big upcoming event, etc… If one or more of these is affecting an aspect of our health, it can start to affect all other aspects as well. 

The most important way to allow yourself to have balanced physical and mental health is knowing yourself. Your body can tell you many things through sending symptoms. Some symptoms you may experience if your mental health and/or physical health are struggling; headaches, rock hard shoulders, upset tummy, fatigue, sore and bitten fingers, and heart palpitations. Your body may be trying to tell you something by sending these symptoms…

Knowing yourself and your body allows you to notice these symptoms, and know when to get help or change something. If you notice your need to change something in your lifestyle, there are many aspects you can look at to make changes…

Here are some examples as to how both health perspectives are intertwined;

Stress reduction: Engaging in physical activity such as yoga, walking, the gym, aerobic exercise, etc… can help release endorphins. Endorphins are natural stress relievers and pain relievers. Exercising regularly can help reduce your stress levels and improve your body’s response to stressors. This will overall positively impact your mental health.

Social Interaction: Engaging in physical activity and social activity are a crucial part of your social interaction. Social connections are extremely important for your well-being; which will give you a sense of belonging, offer emotional support, and decrease any loneliness or negative personal thoughts. 

Sleep Quality: Sleep is exactly how you allow your body to rest and recuperate. A healthy and physically active lifestyle allows for a better sleep quality. Allowing for better sleep quality will lead to ease in coping with frustration, sadness, anxiety, and depression. If there is poor sleep quality, there will be an increase in these feelings; along with irritability, difficulty concentrating, and shakiness. 

Ways to increase sleep quality: Increase time outside, limit caffeine intake, exercise regularly, decrease screen time, stick to a strict sleep schedule, create a restful environment, and manage your worries (the best you can!)

If you know that possibly one of these examples are lacking in your lifestyle, you can start with adjusting slightly. Testing out some of these examples can make such a huge improvement in your mental and/or physical health. 

Other examples to help improve health aspects;

Eat healthy: Eat fruits and vegetables along with nutritious foods. Don’t drink 10 cups of anything in a day unless it’s water!

Breathe deep: Breathing deep can seem extremely hard when you are struggling from anxiety- try breathing through your ribs, chest, and lungs. Counting can help!

Find support: Find someone you are comfortable with telling, and seek comfort through them. Whether it is a family member, friend, or professional. 

Take small steps: Set goals, and follow a plan along the way. Jumping to everything at once is overwhelming; and most times do not work. Make sure you make checkpoints along the way!

Making sure both health aspects are balanced is a big part of your daily life! Find what examples and balance works for you!

We hope that knowing the connection between physical and mental health may help you on your Pathway to Joy. 

We are happy you exist. 

Websites used for examples;

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