Did you know that when you experience emotions such as fear, worry, and disappointment, it causes physical tension in your body? Research has found that those who experience a high level of these emotions experience higher levels of physical health symptoms in the neuroendocrine, immune, metabolic, and cardiovascular systems.
What we think, and how we resultantly behave, when ‘stressed’ affects our hormones and brain chemistry. If the stress is ongoing, the continued physical impact it has on our body can lead to the development of disease. Our level of vulnerability to developing physical symptoms as a result of stress is affected by psychosocial factors (which can increase our risk, or reduce it).
What can you do to improve your mental health, to reduce the impact on your physical health? A step in the right direction is to improve your coping strategies for stress (change your cognitive thinking, learn relaxation techniques, practice mindfulness exercises etc.). Reducing the level of stress you experience may act as an effective non-pharmaceutical treatment in alleviating adverse psychological and physical symptoms.
Now you know that it is well established that improving our mental health can have a positive effect on our physical wellbeing, you can make a more informed decision about how you approach treatment of physical symptoms. Hopefully, when you next experience physical symptoms, the information in this blog post will encourage you to consider a more holistic approach to getting better. Even better would be if it encourages you to improve your emotional wellbeing as a way of safeguarding yourself from developing physical symptoms!
If you would like assistance in improving your mental health, you may wish to enlist the help of a psychologist. Psychologists are trained in the use of evidence-based methods for improving mental health. You don’t need a mental health diagnosis to benefit from seeing them!