Breaking The Stigma: Why Mental Health Hygiene Deserves Your Attention
Mental health hygiene is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, yet it often gets pushed aside. There is an unfortunate stigma surrounding mental health practices that portrays them as less important than other aspects of our health. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Our mental health impacts how we feel, think, and behave on a daily basis, making it just as important as physical health.
To stay healthy, we often think of exercising, eating well, and taking supplements. But remember, physical and emotional health are intertwined - you can't have one without the other. Rather, they are tightly interlinked and can influence each other in numerous ways. For instance, our emotional wellbeing can have a profound effect on our physical health, and vice versa. Thus, it's important to approach our health from a holistic perspective and take care of both our physical and mental wellbeing to ensure that we're able to live life to the fullest.
It's easy to forget that our physical and mental health are connected. Feeling mentally burdened can cause physical discomfort, like headaches, stomach problems, and chronic pain. Look out for signs like feeling tired, trouble sleeping, lack of appetite, and disinterest in activities you once enjoyed. Keeping an eye out for symptoms can help prevent potential ailments. Don't forget to take care of your mental and physical health!
How Mental Health Affects Physical Health
Our nervous system is responsible for how our body reacts to the world around us. It all comes down to the signals we're sending and how our body perceives situations. Sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing all play a part in helping us determine whether we feel safe or not. But sometimes it's more than just our physical senses that guide us. Emotions and feelings can also help us decipher whether a situation, object, or person is safe. It's important to remember that everyone may perceive the world differently based on their past experiences and emotions. We all experience stress from time to time- it's a normal part of life. However, when stress becomes chronic and begins to persistently affect our daily lives, it can have detrimental effects on our health.
The Three Stages of Stress According to Hans Selye
There are three stages of stress according to Hans Selye, a pioneering Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist who was the first to identify ‘stress’ as a manifestation to the nonspecific signs and symptoms of illness. According to him, there are 3 stages of stress we experience: Acute, Compensatory and Exhaustive.
Have you ever experienced a sudden, shocking event that left you feeling stunned and overwhelmed? This type of stress is known as acute stress, and it's a natural response to unexpected and potentially dangerous situations. While acute stress can be overwhelming, the body can bounce back quickly. Be it a car accident, injury, or moment of intense fear, our nervous system gears up to deal with it and learns to be on the lookout for similar situations.
We've all experienced stress in some way. But when it becomes a constant presence, it's problematic. Compensatory stress is like a pesky houseguest or nagging alarm that never leave. It can take many forms, from fights with a spouse to work burnout. Our bodies adapt easily, even to high stress. Yet, as systems shut down to preserve energy, the negative effects take hold. It's essential to identify the source of stress to prevent damage to our bodies and minds.
Stress is a natural part of life, but sometimes it can become too much to handle. This is the case with Exhaustive stress, the point when your body has been pushed to its limits and can no longer function properly. Symptoms of Exhaustive stress can manifest in various ways, such as autoimmune conditions, severe anxiety, depression, and extreme fatigue where there is no more room for adaptation. It's essential to take this type of stress seriously and recognize when our bodies and minds need rest and recovery.
The Impact of Mental Stressors on Physical Health
Stress affects us all differently, and sometimes, it's easy to forget just how deep the connection is between our minds and bodies. Regardless of whether the stress is from a traumatic experience, work, or our relationships, it all takes a toll on our mental health. However, as research has shown, mental stress can have just as much of an impact on our physical health. It's important to be aware of the signs of stress and how it's affecting both our minds and bodies. We can't always control life's events, but by being more mindful, we can take steps to help manage and alleviate our worries.
Signs Your Mental Health is Affecting Your Physical Health
But wait, how can we tell the difference between our physical ailments or if our mental health hygiene is the issue impeding on our physical wellness? Luckily, there are some obvious symptoms to be on the lookout for.
You develop digestive issues when stressed
2. You develop skin manifestations such as eczema/acne/psoriasis after a bout of stress
- Your body aches or feels overly tense even though you haven’t done a strenuous workout
- Your hair is falling out despite having not changed your diet/lifestyle/supplements ando/ro medication
- You get sick easily when you’re overwhelmed
- Your weight either goes up or down despite having not changed your nutrition or exercise regime
The Role of Minerals in Stress Response
It can be overwhelming to feel like stress is piling up, but it's important to remember that our bodies have a natural defense system to help us cope. The nervous system is the first line of defense, and it constantly assesses our surroundings. However, in order for the system to maintain its adaptability and resilience, it needs some support, namely minerals like calcium and phosphorus. It might sound surprising, but these minerals have a big impact on our nervous system. Calcium acts as a sedative and helps keep our body calm, while phosphorus provides the extra energy needed to power through a difficult situation. The trick is that the balance between these minerals is key - too much or too little can cause problems.
Similarly to how our adrenals work- the two little glands sitting on top of our kidneys. They react depending on how our nervous system is influenced. If it sends a stressful response to the body, the adrenals will pump out cortisol for extra energy and to reduce inflammation. Our adrenals work off of 3 specific minerals: sodium, potassium and magnesium. Imagine constantly being stressed and overly stimulated, eventually, these minerals will become depleted and you can end up in the Exhaustive Phase due to not being able to produce adequate stress hormones to protect yourself from the stress.
So your mental health hygiene, whether it be going out for walks, therapy, eating well, the gym- is probably one of the most important practices to maintain if you also want your physical health to stay pristeen.
Importance of Mental Health Hygiene for Physical Health
Taking care of your mental health hygiene is key to maintaining your physical health as well. It's not just about getting enough exercise or eating nutritious foods, it's also about taking care of your mind. Whether it's going outside for a walk or talking to a therapist, there are plenty of ways to make sure your mental health is in good shape.
It's easy to overlook our mental health amidst our hectic routines. After all, the constant pressure to keep up with work, family, and social obligations can be overwhelming. However, taking care of our mental well-being is just as crucial as taking care of our physical health. Think of it this way, how can we expect to function at our best when our mind is clouded with anxieties and stressors? Prioritizing our mental health doesn't have to involve elaborate self-care routines or expensive therapy sessions. Small steps like mindfulness practices, taking breaks, and seeking support from loved ones can go a long way in keeping our minds and emotions in balance. Remember, caring for our mental health is an essential aspect of leading a happy and healthy life.
If stress is affecting your overall health, you might want to try a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA). This test assesses your mineral levels to see how well your body is working at a cellular level. Think of minerals like spark plugs for your body - without them, you'll lose your bounce. Identifying mineral deficiencies can help you recover, and we'll guide you every step of the way.
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