Health is a broad term. When you’re asked about your health, the common perception is regarding whether or not you’re sick. The question, “are you healthy?” resonates more to how you’re feeling in general.
However, there’s a lot more to it. There’s physical health and there’s mental health. There are also subcategories such as emotional health, social health, environmental health and spiritual health.
Physical and mental health are intertwined, having a direct correlation on each other. Poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic physical conditions. People with serious mental health conditions are at high risk of experiencing chronic physical conditions. People with chronic physical conditions are at risk of developing poor mental health.
In these ways, the many types of health are connected, and together they affect how you feel as a whole – your overall health.
Often times, people claim if they eat well, exercise enough and ensure they take care of themselves to avoid illnesses, they’re healthy. This can be true. But it’s deeper than that.
You can do all the right things to take care of your exterior, but if your interior is dealing with stress, anxiety or depression, you aren’t fully healthy.
What’s even more significant is that normally, if one of the two is compromised, it can affect the other one. If you’re depressed, it becomes much harder to take care of yourself physically. And if you give zero effort to your physical health, the ramifications can prove costly to your mind, especially if prolonged.
In order to be completely healthy and take care of yourself to the fullest, you must emphasize both the physical and mental aspects.
Physical health typically associates with the state of your body, influenced by levels of exercise, nutrition, rest, etc. Your diet and fitness play a huge role in how healthy you are physically.
Other factors include adequate sleep, annual medical care, limited alcohol/drug use, and mobility routines.
Sufficient rest and stretching is just as important as the rigorous exercise that you might take part in. Together, they produce healthy results across the board, but struggle to do so on their own.
It’s important to recognize and be conscious of when your body needs a break, as well as when it’s okay to push it to its limits and strive for success. This is especially true for fitness but can also apply to perfecting a diet or incorporating a strict sleep schedule.
In accordance with a UC Davis study, here are suggestions to practice to maintain an optimal level of physical wellness.
- Engage in physical activity every day for 30 minutes. You may break up your daily 30 minutes into 10 minutes bouts.
- Use stairs instead of the elevator or escalator and walk whenever possible.
- Learn to recognize warning signs when your body begins feeling ill.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods and control your meal portions.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule and get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
These suggestions are generalized but very important. A healthy body is a happy body.
Failing to take care of your body will cause you to feel unwell. It can also lead to more serious health conditions later on. It’s a downward spiral.
Therefore, establish a system that will enable you to keep your body healthy and satisfied.
Mental health is much harder to maintain than physical for most people. Physically, you can force yourself to put in the work, normally resulting in a healthier body. When it comes to the mind, sometimes putting in work for improvement is insufficient.
Mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, and many others can have an impact on your mind. In addition to daily thoughts and circumstances that arise, disorders make it even harder to stay healthy.
However, taking the right steps towards achieving mental health will prevent against these disorders and allow you to live freely.
According to University of Michigan Health Services, here are five quick tips to maintaining peak mental health:
- Value yourself
Treat yourself with kindness and respect, avoiding self-criticism. Make time for your hobbies and broaden your horizons. Love yourself and feed yourself with positivity and happiness.
- Take care of your body
Taking care of yourself physically (as mentioned above) can improve your mental health.
- Surround yourself with good people
People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends or seek out activities where you can meet new people.
- Quiet your mind
- Get help when you need it
Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness to live rewarding lives.
Jumping out in front of any potential problems and implementing some of these practices, even if you feel well, is a smart move. It will keep your mind structured, while also providing you with all the tools needed should challenges arise.
Mental health should be taken seriously. It will never be perfect 24/7, but it’s essential to put in the work that is required of producing the healthiest possible thoughts.
The Wrap Up
The healthier you are mentally and physically, the better your life will be. Keeping a perfect balance between the two is a blueprint worth following.
As soon as your mind and body are on the same page, your overall health will follow suit. But you need both.
It won’t always be pretty. There will be rough patches and periods filled with setbacks. The key is adapting an unwavering determination to get back to where you need to be.
Prioritize maintaining optimal health on all levels and you will flourish in all aspects of life.
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”