The Balance Between Mental And Physical Health

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Anyone can suffer from mental or emotional health problems—and over a lifetime, many of us will. Yet, despite how common mental health problems are, many of us make no effort to improve our situation.

However, that doesn’t mean nothing can be done about it. Good news is, there are measures you can adopt to elevate your mood, become more resilient and enjoy life more. People tend to think that if they’re suffering from mental and emotional problems, the only options for them are medication (that comes with various side effects) and therapy (which is a long and costly process).

While those may be good options that you can explore, taking care of your physical health could be the first step to being mentally and emotionally healthy (too).

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Reach Out, Turn Up

Humans are not meant to survive in isolation. The social brains crave companionship, despite any past experiences that made us distrustful of others. The importance of face-to-face connection needs to be addressed and regarded as the key to fight emotional and mental health issues.

Nothing beats a stress-busting, mood-boosting quality face-to-face time with company that you enjoy. People should know that reaching out to others is not a sign of weakness, in fact it is something that people admire that you trust them enough to confide in them.

Syncing Brains With Body

The mind and the body are naturally linked. Whilst a person focuses on his physical health, he or she will eventually experience a greater mental and emotional vibe. Physical activity can have a huge impact on mental and emotional health, relieve stress, enhance your memory and help lead an improved life.

Physical activity doesn’t have to be intense such as pounding weights in a gym or jogging long distances. Even short activities like taking an evening walk, dancing to your favourite music, playing activity-based games, meditate and yoga would really help a person go a long way in their mental improvement journey.

Beat That Stress

It’s really important to keep stress under control, even with stressors that cannot be avoided. Some ways to beat that stress include:

  • Talking to a trusted friend or familiar face.
  • Trust your senses: Once you discover how your nervous system responds to sensory input, you’ll be able to quickly calm yourself no matter where or when stress hits. For eg. Listening to uplifting music, smelling ground coffee or favourite scent etc.
  • Play just as hard: Do activities for no reason other than that they make you feel good. Go to a funny movie, take a walk, listen to your favourite song on repeat, read a good book or just head to your favourite cafe for some collected calm. 
  • Choose to relax: Actively choose to relax with activities such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation that can put the brakes on stress and bring your mind and body back into a state of balance.
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Eat Well, Feel Good

People are generally not aware of how much their nutrition intake affects the way that they think and feel. An unhealthy diet can take a toll on their brain and mood, disrupt sleeping cycle, sap energy levels, and weaken the immune system. The foods that adversely impact the way you think or behave:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Food with high chemical preservatives
  • Sugary snacks and bites
  • Fried food
  • Refined carbs (White rice or flour)

On the other hand, there are foods that help boost the mood and behaviour, such as:

  • Nuts including walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts.
  • Avocados
  • Flaxseed
  • Beans
  • Leafy Greens for eg. Spinach, Brussel’s sprouts

      Beat That Stress……!

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Sleep On It

This might come as a stretch, but it’s often unrealistic to expect sleep to come the moment you lay down and close your eyes. Your brain needs time to unwind at the end of the day. One needs to put aside work for few hours in a day and most of all avoid all the arguments, worrying, or brainstorming to get a good sleep.

Cutting back on sleep may seem like a smart move for busy people, but when it comes to mental health, getting enough sleep becomes a priority. Sleep can impact your mood, energy, mental sharpness and ability to handle stress. So the next time someone asks you to “sleep on it”, you should do just that.

Written by

Cheryl Toh

Last updated on

October 25th 2019, 2:27 pm

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