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How Mental Health Can Affect Physical Health

By Genevieve Cunningham

Mental health is a big deal. We don't always treat it that way, but it truly affects every part of our lives. While most of us understand that mental health can affect our self-esteem and motivation and general moods, we often forget that it can affect our physical health as well. They're intertwined, and in order to stay healthy all the way around, we need to pay attention to both aspects of our wellness. If you're interested in living your best life this year, take a look at how mental health affects physical health and some tips for improving your health as a whole. 

It Can Keep You Inactive

When mental health suffers, we often feel the need to do absolutely nothing. Though this certainly isn't true in all cases, many can relate to the feeling or desire to sleep all day or veg out on the couch. We simply lack motivation. Over time, this leads to a constant state of inactivity, which can lead to weight gain, stiff and sore muscles, and a general decline in physical well-being. If you're feeling mentally down, take some time to get some movement every day, and it may help manage your mental health woes more efficiently.

It Can Lead to Unhealthy Habits

When we're in a funk with our mental wellness, we often let that bad feeling spread to other parts of our life. Of course it doesn't always happen, but in many instances, we let the stress of our mental health drag down our other habits. We stop working out consistently. We eat more junk food. We stop going out with friends. Why does this matter? Because when we're having a hard time mentally, we need those healthy habits to help pick us back up again. If this has happened in your life, start by picking up one healthy habit at a time. Cut the junk food. Then start going out with your friends just once per week. Start building your healthy habits again, and it may help with the long-term management of your mental health as well. 

It Can Create a Spiral of Poor Health

No matter how you're living an unhealthy life, each aspect affects another. When we're not taking care of ourselves mentally, we're also less likely to take care of ourselves physically. This also works in the opposite direction. When we're not taking care of ourselves physically, we're more likely to feel depressed or to lack self-esteem. To stop the downward spiral of poor health, make it a point to take care of each aspect of your health. See a counselor and exercise three times per week. Once you have these down, you can add even more self-care to the equation. Soon, you'll be spiraling your health in the opposite direction and enjoying a healthier life every day. 

It's so important to treat every aspect of your health equally. Don't neglect your mental health. Don't neglect your physical health. Treat them as the partnership that they truly are. Pay attention to both parts of your well-being, and you'll be enjoying a healthier life for years to come. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in West Covina, Calif.

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