For many people, when they think of optimum health, they picture a lean, physically fit person. In reality, to be at optimum health, there has to be a balance between mental and physical health. That is why mental health awareness is so important. Mental health issues affect one in four people, and research is proving more and more that there is a big link between a person’s mental and physical health. People with mental illness often have worse physical health than those not suffering from mental illness. Depression has been linked to these serious health issues:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Gastronomical problems
- Weakened immune system
Typically, when considering mental illness, many people jump to the more severe disorders, like schizophrenia and sociopathy, but there is a wide range of illnesses experienced by people, such as:
- Anxiety disorders
- Addictive behaviors
- Eating disorders
The beautiful thing about mental illness is there is hope for improved symptoms and even recovery if one is willing to make some simple life changes.
Exercise is good for mental health for several reasons. First, it burns off a buildup of adrenaline that may otherwise have negative effects on mental health. Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin, both of which are chemicals that help counter depression, and it improves a person’s ability to get quality sleep.
As in all things pertaining to health, nutrition is a huge factor. Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin B are all crucial for good mental health, and a deficiency in any of these can cause depression. That is why eating a nutrient rich diet, complete with whole grains, lean proteins, and fruits and veggies, is so important. In addition to a balanced diet, incorporate a multivitamin into your daily routine. This will help ensure your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs to maintain good mental health. In addition to nutrition, there have been a lot of scientific advances made recently in cellular health and the connection between redox signaling, cellular health, and emotional and physical wellbeing.
Sleep, or a lack thereof, has been proven to cause anxiety, depression, and increased stress. Adults should get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night. Treat bedtime religiously, and start putting yourself to bed at a reasonable hour.
Untreated mental illness and depression can cause a lot of unnecessary suffering. Help can come in many forms, and one of the most powerful is simple human connection. If you are suffering, turning to friends and family for support and companionship may help. If your symptoms continue, seeking professional help from a therapist or a medical doctor is a great start to finding peace. Your health and wellbeing may depend on it.
If you know someone who struggles with mental illness, reach out to them. Let them know you are there if they need someone to talk to. Check in on them regularly, and let them know you care. Take this month to learn how to maintain good mental health habits and learn about mental health awareness.