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How Your Mental Health Affects Your Physical Health

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How Your Mental Health Affects Your Physical Health

The Connection Between Your Mental & Physical Health

When it comes to looking after your physical health, taking care of your mental and emotional wellbeing plays a more important role than you may think. In light of Mental Health Awareness Month, we're here to break down the benefits of the relationship for you..

Increases Your Lifespan

When you look after your mental health and wellness, you are more likely to lead a longer and healthier life than those who succumb to mental illness. Research suggests that people living with mental illness are more likely to die from respiratory issues, heart disease, and cancers because they are less likely to seek professional medical attention.

In the event that you feel like your mental health is suffering, be sure to see a professional to help you address your symptoms and their underlying issues so you can go on to lead a long and happy life!

Lowers Your Risk for Chronic Illnesses

People living with mental health issues like anxiety and depression are at an increased risk of developing certain health problems. When dealing with distressing emotions, it can trigger your body’s stress response. When you’re under stress, your body secretes stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. While this can help to save your life in life-threatening situations, prolonged exposure to your body’s stress response, it negatively affects your body’s systems in the following ways:

  • Increased inflammation
  • Increases your heart rate
  • Negatively impacts your body’s circulation
  • Changes in your metabolism
  • An increased risk for developing diabetes
  • An increased risk for heart disease and cardiac events
  • An increased risk for osteoporosis
  • Gastrointestinal issues (diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome)

When you stay on top of your mental health and wellness, you can effectively reduce your risk for the health issues as mentioned above.

Wards of Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Because many people suffering from mental health issues don’t seek professional treatment or have coping mechanisms in place, it’s common to turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. When this becomes a habit, it can lead to substance abuse, addiction, and physical health issues too.

The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try some of the following positive camping mechanisms:

  • Journaling
  • Taking a nature walk
  • Yoga
  • Meditating
  • Listening to music
  • Venting to someone you trust
  • Exercising
  • Do something that you enjoy (gardening, fishing, knitting, reading etc.)
  • ‘DIY’ projects

Contact Kirby Medical Center

At Kirby Medical Center, we are dedicated to helping our community learn how to stay healthy and safe. If you are concerned about your health risks and the types of vaccines that are right for you, contact Kirby Medical Center at 217-762-2115 to learn more about how we can assist with all your healthcare needs.