Even though there have been a lot of studies showing that our mental health has a big effect on our physical health and vice versa, society has been slow to make the changes that can lead to better mental and physical health for everyone.
We innately know both mental and physical health are important parts of a person's overall health. For example, depression makes you more likely to have many different kinds of physical health problems, especially long-term ones like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. On the other hand, having a chronic illness caused by bad health habits can also make you feel depressed.
How do we stop this from happening?
By concentrating on what we can do. This may sound like a lot, but everyone can take small steps every day to live a healthier mental and physical life. Here are three steps that are based on preventive care and can help improve your physical and mental health.
1. Start small.
First, I think you should focus on what I call the "Four Pillars of Health." These include getting enough sleep, being active, eating well, and dealing with stress in your life, which includes spending time with family, meditating, and doing other things that help you relax and concentrate.
We live in a time when burnout and loss have gone up in many fields, especially hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as colleges and universities. This should be a sign that something needs to change. Even though you can't really change your life all at once, there are many small steps you can take that will add up to big changes in the long run.
The first step is to look for small ways to do healthy things throughout the day. For example, you could try a new exercise program or take the stairs instead of the elevator to get more steps. You could also set aside a certain amount of time each day to write in a journal, put your phone away for an hour to avoid being tempted by social media, or take a moment, even if it's just to send a text to a loved one, to connect with them. By starting small, you can start to deal with "problem areas" in a way that is easier to handle. Once you've gotten used to one of these small steps, you'll be ready to add another, and then another.
2. Move more.
Studies have shown for a long time that making physical activity a regular part of our lives is good for our body in many ways, including improving brain health, controlling weight, lowering the risk of disease, building stronger bones and muscles, and making it easier to do everyday things. Regular exercise also has a lot of positive effects on your mind and mood.
This doesn't mean that you have to start a strict exercise plan. For example, a recent study shows that if you can, you can lower your blood pressure by taking a five-minute walk every half hour. If you work in a hospital, take the stairs. If you're studying for a test, set a timer and go for a quick walk.
The trick is to look for any time, even if it's only five minutes, to move. Even though it's not always convenient, we can work out pretty much anywhere. One benefit of these short exercises is that they help you concentrate and stay awake.
3. Ask for help.
Today, we have more access to and information about physical and mental health than ever before, and we also know more about how to take care of ourselves. Considering the long-term effects of the last few years and a global pandemic, the best way to help anyone grow is to create an environment that encourages connection and teaches ways to deal with stress.
Dr. Wegmann has extensive knowledge in the area of healing and health. If you are feeling depressed, burned out or overwhelmed, make it a point to ask what steps you can take to start feeling better again.
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Dr. MJ Wegmann,