Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. May is Mental Health Awareness Month- a time to fight stigma, provide support and educate others to advocate for the support of people with mental illness.
How Does My Mental Health Effect My Physical Health?
It is a common misconception that mental health has no correlation to your physical and overall health; but, in reality your mental health plays a huge role in your general well-being. Being in a good and stable mental state can keep you healthy and prevent serious health complications down the line. A study found that positive psychological well-being can even reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes in some people.
People with mental health conditions are more likely to suffer from sleep disorders, like insomnia or sleep apnea. As we have discussed before in our blog posts, sleep apnea can also have a correlation with tooth alignment and disease. If left untreated, sleep apnea can even have major negative effects on your oral health such as contributing to gum disease, growth in bacteria and even cracked teeth. Additioally, sleep apnea leads to breathing problems, which can cause you to wake up frequently. Without proper rest you will be unable to function properly and have a positive state of mind throughout your day.
While conditions like depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder may lead to sleep problems, sleep problems can also make existing mental health conditions worse.
How You Can Take Care of Your Mental and Physical Health
If you want to improve your general well-being, you should take care of both your physical and mental health.
Here are some ways to take care of yourself physically and mentally:
- Get regular exercise: Exercise is often thought of as a physical body booster, but it can also be a major mood booster. Even a small task like going for a walk may increase your mental alertness and leave you more energized and happier.
- Eat a proper diet: Eat a proper diet and make sure you are getting all of the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. Also make sure you are drinking enough water and staying hydrated throughout the day!
- Get enough sleep: A good night’s sleep is around seven to nine hours for adults. If you need a little extra sleep to feel well-rested try taking a 30-minute nap during the day!
- Try relaxation techniques: Try some relaxation methods such as taking a bath, meditation or even yoga
- Develop good mental practices: Try to focus on what makes you happy, and do those things often
- Seek help from others: While this might seem difficult, sometimes simply talking to a friend or a loved one may help you feel at ease.
If you or anybody you know struggle with their mental health, please reach out to your local hotline. You can reach the National Aliance on Mental Health at 800-950-NAMI.