Why Mental Health is Just as Important as Physical Health

When people think of healthy living, they tend to think of exercise and a clean diet. However, so much more goes into feeling and being healthy. Mental health is just as important, if not more, as physical health. Psychological, social, and emotional well-being all fall under the umbrella that is mental health. It impacts our thoughts, feelings, and even our actions in our daily lives. How someone is able to handle emotions, stress, social situations, and decision-making is greatly determined by their psychological state. 

Oftentimes, people will prioritise their physical well-being at the expense of mental health. It’s essential to focus on being well mentally in the same way we work on our physical health.

The Effects on Physical State

Mental health can have a direct effect on your physical well-being. For example, those who suffer from stress and anxiety often have weaker immune systems and fall sick quite easily. Many studies have found that mental health problems can cause your physical health to deteriorate. Doctors have even reported seeing patients’ physical health improving once they have addressed their mental health issues. 

Financial Instability Effects

Many people are unaware that their mental health can have an effect on their financial stability. The American Journal of Psychiatry conducted a study that found those who dealt with mental health issues earned 40% less than those in good mental conditions. The same study found that those who left their mental health issues untreated account for one-third of the overall homeless population.

The effects on financial stability are largely due to the fact that people with mental illnesses tend to be far less productive than those without. 

Family Relationships

Mental health can also have a great effect on family relationships. Oftentimes, loved ones are those most impacted by mental health issues. Those who grew up with parents with mental illnesses often fall victim to abuse, neglect, as well as both emotional and behavioural issues which affect them from childhood well into adulthood. Because of this, recovery for the entire family is what is most desired so that everyone is able to heal and move on.

Living a Long and Fulfilling Life

The happiness and longevity of life are impacted by our mental health and well-being.  By valuing both your mental and physical health, you’re more likely to live a long and happy life. In 2012 The British Medical Journal conducted a study that found those who deal with mental health problems could have a lower life expectancy, even those with minor mental illnesses. Living each day feeling depressed, stressed, or panicked can seriously impact your life. It’s essential to be well mentally and physically to reap the benefits of a long and happy life. 

Some Actions to Consider

Plan your day and week so that you have time to get some exercise most days and also time to wind down most days (however you wind down). Maintain connections with at least a few close friends who care for and love you regardless of your actions and mistakes. Find a great counselor or psychologist. Seeing a counselor or psychologist doesn’t mean you have a “problem”, just like getting your car serviced means your car has a “problem”. Having a psychological professional in your corner can help you understand your past, how you came to be the way you are, why you react in certain ways, and other valuable self-insight. These can help you move forward in a more healthy and robust manner – for both yourself, and the other people in your life.