We are at times of immense stress and unpredictability, where physical health is given a bit of importance, but no one is concerned about mental health nor wants to talk about it. Mental health and physical health are both connected and interrelated. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Mental health is "A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community."
Physical health can be defined as “The normal functioning of the body. Representing one dimension of total well-being, it's about how your body grows, feels, and moves, how you care for it, and what you put into it.”
Physical and mental health require maintaining certain hygienic conditions to be fit enough to survive in the world. Hygiene refers to good practices that prevent disease and lead to good health, especially cleanliness, proper wastewater disposal, and drinking water supply. Physical health and mental well-being are inextricably related. Physical injuries can lead to mental health issues and vice versa. Physical activity can bring health benefits, including elevated mood and reduced stress, and healthy eating also can improve mental health.
Physical health problems significantly increase our risk of developing mental health problems, and vice versa. Nearly one in three people with a long-term physical health condition also has a mental health problem, most often depression or anxiety.
Your physical well-being also has an impact on your mental health. People with physical health conditions may also develop mental health conditions.
- Psoriasis is a dermatological condition characterized by painful red sores on the skin. It is associated with acute stress and depression. Individuals with psoriasis experience emotional and psychological distress that negatively impacts their overall health and quality of life. Stress and depression mainly come from anxiety, stigma, and rejection.
- Being diagnosed with cancer or having a heart attack can also lead to feelings of depression or anxiety. Around one-third of people with serious medical conditions will have symptoms of depression, such as low mood, sleep problems, and a loss of interest in activities.
- People with physical health problems, especially chronic diseases, are at increased risk of poor mental health, particularly depression and anxiety – around 30% of people with a long-term physical health condition also have a mental health problem.
Research shows that people with mental health problems are more likely to have a preventable physical health condition such as heart disease.
This can be for a variety of reasons, including:
- Genetics – The genes that make it more likely that you will develop a mental health problem may also play a part in physical health problems.
- Low motivation – Some mental health problems or medications can affect your energy or motivation to take care of yourself.
- Difficulty with concentration and planning – You may find it hard to arrange or attend medical appointments if your mental health problem affects your concentration.
- Lack of support to change unhealthy behavior – Healthcare professionals may assume you're incapable of making changes, so they won't offer any support to reduce drinking or give up smoking, for example.
- Being less likely to receive medical help – healthcare professionals may assume your physical symptoms are part of your mental illness and not investigate them further. People with mental illness are less likely to receive routine checks (like blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol) that might detect symptoms of physical health conditions earlier.
- A number of studies have found that mental illness may accelerate biological aging, manifesting as increased rates of cardiovascular and other age-related diseases. One psychiatric condition, schizophrenia, has been associated with up to 10-20 years shorter life expectancy.
The five steps will help you become physically and mentally healthy while bringing more balance into your life.
- Community and relationships
- Relaxation and recreation
At Solh Wellness, they recognize the significance of mental health and they’ve curated a range of powerful self-help tools designed to enhance your mental well-being. Their offerings include journaling, goal setting, self-assessment tests, mood analysis, and an extensive library of enriching content to explore and learn from. Take charge of your journey towards personal growth and improved mental health with their comprehensive self-help resources and community tools.