Eva Carlston Academy
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How Mental Health Affects Your Physical Health

Woman doing L-shaped yoga stance

When you really think about it, our minds and bodies are not two separate things. Meaning, our mental health can have a profound effect on our physical health and vice versa. It can be difficult maintaining our mental health if we don’t feel our best or haven’t been getting enough sleep, therefore, it’s equally important to pay attention to your overall physical wellness. Mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety often come attached with physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or nausea. Mental and physical health go hand in hand and should both become a priority when managing your mental or physical health goals. 

Mental Health and Physical Health Connection

Having poor mental health can often lead to a lack of motivation or desire to do daily life activities. This can be anything from showering to getting out of bed in the morning. It can also lead to poor eating habits due to lack of energy, which then creates a cycle that can be hard to break out of. Additionally, depression and other mental illnesses have been linked to chronic illnesses such as heart problems, digestive problems, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, and more. 

On the other end of the spectrum, physical health plays a big role in boosting our levels of serotonin which can help a myriad of mental illness symptoms. In the most scientific terms, doing exercises such as dancing, running, swimming, etc increases blood circulation to the brain and has a physiological reaction causing a direct reduction to stress. This physiological reaction has other components of the brain involved as well such as the limbic system (motivation and mood), the amygdala (fear in response to stress), and the hippocampus (memory, mood, and motivation). 

Comparing The Two

When observing the two together, it’s clear how our minds affect physical health and the other way around. Our bodies are amazing things that are connected through mood, emotions, our surroundings, and what we choose to do during the day. This is not to say that if you exercise for one day that depression and anxiety disappears, but continuous effort towards physical goals can certainly alleviate some of the symptoms which can improve your overall quality of life. This can also make it easier to achieve additional physical and mental health goals that you may set.  

Importance of Mental and Physical Health 

The relationship between physical health and our minds is a strong one and both can have adverse effects on the other if not properly taken care of. Setting small physical goals such as going outside for 10 minutes each day, and then increasing these intervals can go a long way in the recovery and alleviation of mental health symptoms. Additionally, taking care of our physical health can break the seemingly never ending cycle of exhaustion that often accompanies mental illnesses. 

At Eva Carlston Academy, we place high importance on the connection between our minds and bodies. We offer a multitude of physical programs for our students to participate in such as dance, yoga, meditation, basketball, soccer, swimming, and more. We have found that our students are able to focus better in school and on their individual therapy goals when they are actively seeking out physical activities. The importance of mental and physical health is pinnacle to the success of our students as well as those who are looking to accomplish their own personal goals.