Over the past few years, people are thankfully starting to discuss psychological problems and mental health in general, with a lot less of the stigma and shame that has accompanied the topic previously. Whilst it’s a broad subject, everyone can still benefit from the medical knowledge that has been built up with a healthy mind in a healthy body.
The most important thing to understand is that your mental health has a profound and significant effect on your physical well-being – not least of which might be your weight.
Stressing the point
From personal worries to family problems stress levels can seem higher than ever. We view it with the same acceptance as we would paying a credit card bill – an unpleasant but necessary evil. Except that stress and a range of mental health issues can negatively impact our physical health.
A family argument or another minor personal catastrophe can send us scurrying for the snack cupboard – the much-dreaded comfort eating! Everyone can be forgiven for indulging themselves a little when things aren’t going your way – but it’s important to make sure that you maintain your good eating habits (as well as a healthy balanced diet) to avoid even more pain further down the road.
Nature’s medicines: Healthy eating and exercise
It has long been recognised by mental health professionals that looking after your physical self can be a hugely positive step in combating mental illness. Taking care of yourself – mentally and physically – is a positive first step on the road to both recovery and staying well. Physical exercise, especially if it gets you out and into the fresh air, can be a powerful tonic if you’ve had a bad day. Don’t think that you have to jump up off the sofa and immediately start running marathons – take it easy; a gentle stroll, maybe a swim with friends or a gentle exercise class like yoga can serve the triple purpose of getting you out of the house, starting your body’s natural feel-good engine, and be a positive weight management strategy.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that your mind and body exist in different universes – disregarding or failing to give attention to one can affect the other in negative ways. Instead remember that old saying: A healthy mind in a healthy body.