Link Between Physical and Mental Health

Jun 10, 2023

Your mental health has a significant impact on your overall well-being. Being in a positive mental state can help you stay healthy and prevent significant health problems. Poor mental health, on the other side, can lead to poor physical health and potentially risky habits. Let’s look at strategies to boost your recovery success by understanding the link between physical and mental health.

Your physical health can benefit from good mental health. In turn, poor mental health can have a negative impact on your physical health. Taking care of your physical and mental health can help to improve your overall well-being. Here are some strategies to look after yourself, both physically and mentally:

  • Get exercise regularly as it’s vital for staying physically fit and also can help you feel better.
  • Consume a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in processed sugars and fats.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs since they can harm both your physical and emotional health.
  • Take naps as needed and get adequate sleep at night.
  • When you’re stressed, try relaxing strategies like deep breathing or meditation.

Mental Health’s Impact on Physical Health

Depression, the most frequent mental health condition in the United States, affects more than your mood and motivation. It can directly influence your immune system by decreasing T-cell responses to viruses and bacteria, making it easier to become ill and stay ill for extended periods of time. Fatigue is directly linked to mental health concerns, and chronic tiredness can quickly lead to physical health decline. If you are chronically sad or worried, you’re less likely to exercise, and when you do, you may quit sooner. Depression and anxiety can also interfere with basic hygiene. Anxiety that results in furious outbursts can also be harmful to your heart. Mental health issues can impair digestive tract function or create discomfort in the stomach and intestines. Unmet mental health needs might make it harder to handle your physical requirements if you have a chronic medical condition.

Physical Health Conditions and Mental Health

Your physical health has an impact on your mental health as well. It’s possible to develop symptoms of mental health conditions when issues with your physical health are unmanaged. For example, someone with a skin ailment may experience anxiety or depression over it, possibly worsened by social isolation. Likewise, a heart condition, cancer diagnosis, or other major medical condition can lead to depression, loss of interest in social contacts and activities, and sleep problems.

Lack of Sleep’s Impact on Recovery

People suffering from mental health conditions are more likely to suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea. Insomnia can make it difficult to fall or remain asleep. Sleep apnea causes breathing issues, which can cause frequent awakenings. While conditions such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder can cause sleep problems, sleep problems can also exacerbate pre-existing mental health issues. For people in recovery, a lack of quality sleep can lead to worsened anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions that can increase the risk of relapse. Lack of sleep also impairs your decision-making ability, weakens your immune system, and may make it harder to regain the strength and energy needed for your recovery work.

Improving Mental Health for Recovery

If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, or another psychological disorder, you can begin to improve your mental health and protect your recovery work. Begin by practicing daily self-care. Make a timetable and a routine around getting enough sleep. Make time for at least two outside outings per week, even if they are as simple as a brief walk around the block. Consider starting a hands-on hobby, such as art or culinary class, on a regular basis. Practicing coping strategies, including meditation or mindfulness practices, breathing exercises, gratitude or reflection journaling, or yoga can also improve mental health. Create a support system of family, friends, or trustworthy adults to help you find solutions and feel cared for and loved. Some form of treatment aligned with your sobriety needs should be part of the solution, too.

How Treatment Fills Physical and Mental Health Needs

A treatment program built around meeting your physical and mental health needs can be a solution for  starting your recovery journey. During a stay at Hannah’s House, you will get opportunities to exercise regularly, guidance on eating a proper diet, an extended period of time without access to alcohol or drugs, an emphasis on improving sleep habits, an introduction to mindfulness, meditation, and other relaxation techniques, and help with changing harmful patterns of thinking and behavior. You’ll also be supported in identifying continuing care options to help you sustain your sobriety beyond the stay in treatment.

Hannah’s House is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For more information about the stages of alcoholism in women or to learn about our programs, call us today: 561.841.1272.

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