Mental and physical health has been, and probably always will be, a hot topic in society. The two are linked deeply, and it’s fascinating how neglecting one can begin to affect the other. It’s arguably impossible to only treat either your physical or mental health, so here are the top five things you can do to improve both and make sure you are in tip-top shape.
When is the last time you broke a sweat? Pushed your body to the edge of its limits? Went for a walk? There’s a reason the exercise is essential to our physical and mental well-being. You don’t have to become a body-builder or marathon runner. You can walk your dog, help a friend move, or impress your lover and call it “exercise.”
Physically, exercise helps out bodies fight disease, helps increase strength and gives us an energy boost. That’s right; you’re not just burning fat and building muscle when you exercise. You’re helping keep all of the systems in your body functioning correctly from your cardiovascular system to your digestive system. For example, if you’re constipated, a common way to loosen things up is to stretch or go for a short walk. Everyone should aim for some sort of exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
Mentally, exercise has a bunch of positive effects on this part of our health. As you workout, your body will release endorphins. These endorphins help you fight off feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. Also, vitamin D is known to increase serotonin, another happy chemical, in our bodies and help reduce stress, so consider exercising outside every so often.
4. Value Yourself
Bill Cowher, a former NLF player, once said, “Perception is reality, but it may not be actuality, and you have got to be able to keep the difference between that.” The concept he’s speaking is incredibly relevant to our mental health. It’s easy to accept what others value about us, and in some cases, that can create a negative outlook that your reality will be based in.
If you’re not already, start speaking highly of yourself to yourself. Pick at least three things you love about yourself and create a mantra. Building up your own self-confidence by setting and achieving personal goals is key to changing others’ perception of you. The more goals you set and accomplish, the more your self-worth can increase and help boost your mental health.
3. Eat Healthy
Exercise isn’t the only way to keep your body functioning correctly. Proper nutrition is what really fuels you and gives you the strength you need to get through each day. Eating clean is the best way to make sure the food you ingest isn’t affecting your mental or physical health.
In a world where mass-produced foods are treated with chemicals, those chemicals have a significant effect on our health. Certain chemicals can cause our bodies to function poorly or increase in weight, and that can, in turn, affect how we feel about ourselves. If you are maintaining a healthy, clean diet, you’re guaranteed to notice a physical and mental difference.
2. Keep Good Company
There’s a significant power in the company you choose to keep in your life. A negative relationship can tear you down, make you believe things that are not true about yourself, and cause a spiral that can make the happiest person hit an all-time low. If you notice that you’re in a relationship with someone, friend or family, and it doesn’t bring you joy, you might want to consider why that person is still around.
It’s essential to have friends that we can laugh with and feel comfortable around. Surrounding yourself with people who share common interests, beliefs, and attitudes is the most critical aspect of creating a positive environment to support your mental health.
1. Ask for Help
To end this list, the number one thing you can do to improve your mental and physical health is to ask for help. It’s simple to say that you don’t have the information to eat healthily, exercise correctly, or find friends with similar interests, and asking for help is the solution to those problems and more.
Counselors and personal trainers are critical examples of professionals whose job it is to help us become healthier. It is a sign of strength to ask for help, and when asked for, it will be given. When you’re finally able to ask for help, you must accept what is given, because it is true that nothing can help those who cannot help themselves.