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The Importance of Mental Health in Overall Wellness


The pursuit of health and wellness can be stringent at times but if we take a multi-faceted approach, we may find that we are covering all of the bases. However, if we focus on one area of our health and wellness and neglect others, then we may find that we are missing out on significant opportunities to improve our health and wellness holistically.

One area of our health and wellness that tends to be overlooked is our mental health. We need to realize that while eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, or fixing our sleeping patterns can improve our physiological health, these behaviors also improve our mental health dramatically.

In a country where depression has an estimated prevalence of 10% and where millions of people encounter some sort of mental health problem at some point in their lives, the importance of mental health and wellness promotion that encompasses all aspects of the body and mind cannot be understated. When we are trying to improve your health and wellness overall, we must keep in mind that these efforts apply to our minds as well.

There are many things that we can do to integrate mental health into our wellness promotion efforts. If we are looking to change our diet and improve our ability to achieve quality nutritional outcomes, we tend to do a lot of research into what foods are best for our bodies. When we are conducting this research, we can take a moment to determine what foods are important for our minds as well. Almonds, salmon, and many other common superfoods are also applicable when considering mental health.

Exercise is good for our hearts in that it gets the blood flowing throughout our bodies. But proper exercise gets blood into our brains, which enhances our cognitive abilities, improves our awareness, stabilizes our mood, and gives us numerous other mental health benefits. Vigorous exercise also releases dopamine, or the "feel-good" chemicals in the brain, something people with depression often lack.

Health and wellness may seem like a complex concept, especially when considering the relationship between our bodies and our minds. In actuality, it is quite simple! We need to look out for our bodies and our minds equally, and there are plenty of ways to ensure that we are doing so. Stay in check with your stress levels and ensure you are remaining active and eating right. The mind-body connection is a lot stronger than you may think.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of NICHD

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