In our society if someone mentions anything about mental and emotional health, people give them the side eye and think it is strange. But little do we know that our mental and emotional health plays a major role in our physical health.
Mental and emotional health is just as important as our physical health. Mental and emotional health often gets over looked because it is a touchy subject (and it should not be), plus most of us separate the mental and emotional health from the physical health.
But I am one who believes that mental and physical health go hand in hand and that everything feeds off the other. Simply put, mind and body work together in a holistic manner.
Have you ever heard someone say, “You’re going to make yourself sick by worrying so much?” Believe it or not that is a true statement. Everything about us has balance or homeostasis and when one thing is out of balance, it throws other things out of balance too.
This topic is near and dear to me because I have family members who have mental and emotional health issues. It often gets ignored and we pretend it does not exist, but we must stop ignoring mental and emotional health, because it is real and it does exist. It is a serious matter!
How Do I Know?
Being that I minored in psychology, while in college, I often recognize when something is not quite right with a person mentally and emotionally. Plus, I have family members with mental and emotional health issues.
Most of the time when I notice the issues with a person’s mental and emotional health, they sometimes have some type of underlying physical health problem.
How do I know they have a physical health problem? The person usually confides in me and lets me know what’s going on. There is a definite connection between our mental health and physical health. No one can convince me to believe otherwise.
Before I go any further, I will share something with you that I am sure most of you have noticed some point in your life too.
Example # 1 – Slim and Later Weight Gain (Depression)
I once met a person who was slim and appeared to be in good physical health. They were out and about getting things done and making things happen. A few years later, I see them and I hardly recognize them.
They’ve put on a lot of weight, which is noticeable and they are constantly eating.
When I spoke with the person, they confided in me that they had battled with depression and other things. That explains why they looked so different.
Example #2 – From No Alcohol to Alcohol Everyday (stress, hurt and pain)
There are many things that people turn to after experiencing a stressful or hurtful life experience. I had a relative turn to alcohol which resulted in them being a life-long alcoholic. This numbed the person’s hurts and pains, but in reality, the pain and hurt never went away.
Some people can overcome alcoholism, but I am sad to say that this person never overcame the evils of alcoholism. I wish this person could have experienced life without alcohol before they died.
Do you see the connection? Oftentimes when people are dealing with something that is stressful, the mental and emotional health suffer, not to mention the physical health too.
I have dealt with situations that are stressful and have sometimes made myself sick worrying about it because I did not handle the situation properly. These days, I don’t worry about things that I cannot change because it is a waste of time and I don’t want to get sick.
Here is what I have found to help me keep my mental and emotional health in check.
1. Prayer/meditation. It doesn’t matter which one you prefer (praying or meditating), they both are beneficial and get the job done. Prayer or meditation helps ease your stress, it oftentimes completely eliminates the stress.
2. Talk it out. If you have a close family member or friend you feel you can confide in, talk to them. You may need to talk to a professional in the field of mental health. Don’t be ashamed to seek the help of a professional. If you can go to a medical doctor about your physical health, surely you can go to someone about your mental health.
3. Focus. Don’t lose sight of anything you want. You may put your focus on the back burner, but eventually you will need to regroup and get back in the game. The only way to do that is to focus and keep moving.
4. Hobbies/passions. Do you have a hobby or passion? Throw yourself into your hobby or passion. It helps you get your mind off your problems, plus you never know where your hobbies and passions will take you.
5. Show gratitude. Whatever you have or whatever someone sends your way, be thankful and grateful for whatever it is. It could be a smile from a stranger. Be thankful that you are able to see the stranger’s smile and experience how that smile makes you feel.
6. Stop worrying. Yes, easy for me to say, but there comes a time in life when, you just have to do what you have to do and let the chips fall where fall. You have no control, just do the best and be the best. Who could ask for more?
I shared with you a few mental and emotional health checks, but there is so much more you can do to make sure that you keep the mental and emotional part of you healthy.
What has helped you? Do share!