What goes on your mind can impact your body’s condition so logically, a healthy mind should lead to a healthy body.
What do you think of when you hear someone says, “have a healthy mind”? Do you picture something peaceful like a lush green meadow or the sea with slow, lapping waves upon the beach? It would be lovely to always be at that level of peace and tranquillity but let’s look at reality, life isn’t always like that.
Life has its ups and downs and that could create a whole host of anxiety, worry and stress that would disrupt your peace of mind. Here are some of the ways whereby what you think and feel could affect your body. Read on to also discover solutions that can help you.
Do you worry about… everything? Worrying seems to be harmless enough but it may contribute to you feeling physically unwell. Ruminating is when you overthink or obsess about a situation or life event and it could lead to depression, anxiety, binge drinking or binge eating.
Tip: If you find yourself going down the rabbit hole and overthinking a situation at work or in one of your relationships, take a deep breath and get moving. Do your favourite physical activity, be it swimming or walking, or meditate. Get your mind off your ruminations.
Chronic worrying could lead to anxiety which is a reaction to stress. Anxiety could lead to lifestyle habits such as smoking or alcohol and drug use which can affect your health negatively. However, ongoing anxiety could result in becoming irrationally unable to stop worrying. Physical symptoms include dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath and trembling.
Tip: If you’re sensitive to the effects of caffeine, cut down on your consumption of caffeine because it is a stimulant that may make you jittery. You can also exercise as a way to deal with anxiety because it floods the body with endorphins which makes you feel good.
Stress is a well-known cause of negative effects on the body. It could cause headaches, lowered sex drive, stomach problems, irritability, over or undereating, smoking, alcohol or drug abuse and less exercise. In the long-term, these could lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and more.
Tip: Make it a point to go out and socialise with your family and friends to relieve stress. Set time aside for you to indulge in your hobbies such as reading or gardening as a way to relax. Regular exercise along with ensuring that you eat a healthy and balanced diet are also great ways to combat stress.
You’re doing well enough and your routine has been the same for a few months. Now what? To encourage a healthy mind, you need to challenge your mind and engage your curiosity. This keeps your mind plastic and ready to make new connections.
Tip: Read something new every day, no matter if it’s a news article or a lifestyle piece in your favourite magazine. Stimulate your mind by doing a crossword puzzle or Sudoku if you gravitate more towards numbers. You could also pick up a new language or skill such as painting, pottery or cooking and make something for your loved ones!
We all know the drill, 7 or more hours of sleep a night in order to recharge the brain. However, not everyone gets enough sleep due to stress or staying up late to get things done. Not sleeping can cause lapses in your attention, irritability, increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.
Tip: Set a time for you to go to bed, yes, like when you were at school, and stick to it. Turn off all electronics and keep them outside your room so that light and/or sound won’t bother you.
It will always be a balancing act between having a healthy mind and healthy body. It’s perfectly alright to want both and it is most definitely achievable so why not start today?