The link between physical and mental health is undeniable. When you work out, your brain releases endorphins to help you feel better. Working out can lead to improved sleep cycles, which can help you fall asleep faster.
However, the opposite is true as well. Trying to improve yourself mentally can help boost your physical health. Whether you’re trying to improve your body for the summer, or you just want to boost your fitness routine, here’s why sharpening your brain can help you bulk up your muscle.
Perhaps the biggest reason why improving your mental health can help you physically is because of motivation. If you feel tired, depressed, or just apathetic, it can make it more difficult for you to get out and improve yourself. You may find it a challenge to get out of bed every morning. Just walking outside the house may be an exhausting chore. Learning to tackle your depression, or your lack of sleep, can help you stay motivated.
It Helps You Focus
Another reason why improved mental health will lead to better physical health is because of improved focus. Being tired, or having your mind clouded by anxiety, stress, or depression can make it a challenge for you to stay focused on your workout. You may find yourself on your phone or just staring into space. In order to avoid that, improving your mental state through mindfulness and other treatments can make your workouts even better.
Keeping You On Track of Your Diet
Your mental state can make it difficult for you to stick to your diet . Let’s look at depression. When people feel sad, they often eat their sadness away. While it may feel good at first, you may feel even worse because you broke your diet, and you may find yourself eating more.
On the other hand, poor mental health can lead to the opposite happening too. You may under eat because you’re too depressed.
Improving your mental health can keep you on your diet; bottom line.
For many, it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep, but this especially applies to people who are depressed. Depression can make it harder to sleep, or you may oversleep. Anxiety can keep us up all night, too. Stress and other mental woes are culprits as well. Not to mention, having a poor routine can lead to bad sleep hygiene, which leads to trouble falling or staying asleep.
When you improve your mental health, you may be able to get a better night’s sleep. More sleep equals more energy, which leads to better physical performance. It’s that simple.
When you’re tired or not feeling it mentally, you may still work out, but you may have a difficult time putting in a good workout. You may have a half-hearted workout when you deserve to put your entire heart into it. Not being there mentally can impact your performance, and improving your mental state can give you the energy to put more effort into what you do. It’s that simple.
Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
With that said, how can you improve your mental health? Here are some ways to do so.
One of the best ways to improve your mental health is to work out more. Your brain releases feel-good chemicals to make your mood better, and it helps to regulate your sleep cycle. Speaking of sleep…
Get Better Rest
If you’re having a hard time getting a good night’s sleep, you should try to figure out why. Sometimes, it may be due to your worries. If that’s the case, try meditation and mindfulness. A nice breathing session can help clear your mind.
Other times, you may just be feeling “wound-up.” This can happen if you were playing an exciting video game close to bed, or were working out a little too close to bedtime. Set an hour or so before bed to unwind. Take a nice, hot bath. Listen to some relaxing music. Avoid doing anything that excites you.
If you’re still having trouble, herbal teas, melatonin, and other remedies could help. If all else fails, talk to a doctor to see if there’s any way you can get a better night’s rest.
Enjoy Some Hobbies
Take some time to enjoy your hobbies and do what you like. If you feel like you have no time to enjoy what you love, then this is bad, and you should try your best to do something you like. Unwinding with something fun, but not too stimulating, can be a good way for you to feel better. For example, see if you can put together a jigsaw puzzle.
Mindfulness is an increasingly popular method of improving one’s mental health. A practice found in Eastern religion and philosophy, it’s seeing a Western appeal due to its proven effects. Mindfulness involves keeping yourself in the present, not allowing any worries of the future or past troubles to cloud up your mind. Through meditation, taking some time to enjoy life, and regular sessions, anyone can achieve mindfulness.
Talking to a Professional
Perhaps the best way to improve one’s mental health is to talk to a therapist or go to counseling. If you have a problem, there’s no shame in admitting that you need help. Seeking the help of a therapist or counselor can allow you to tackle your troubles head-on.
Sometimes, a counselor isn’t just for severe anxiety or depression. They can help you if you’re trying to accomplish a goal, or dealing with a life change like a new job.
Online therapy makes it a lot easier. If you find yourself unable to go to the therapist’s office due to distance or time, you can get the help you need through your phone or other device.
Health is achieved through physical and mental care. Make sure that you’re taking care of both, and you’ll be feeling much better.
Marie Miguel is a research expert and has been for nearly ten years. She has covered a wide variety of health-related topics. At the moment Marie is contributing to the growth of BetterHelp.com. Where she has an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health – offering her insights to help others.