There is often a gap between people between the ink of physical and mental health. Mental and physical health goes hand in hand. The WHO defines health as the complete mental, the physical and social well-being of a person. There is a perceived disconnect among normal folks that results in creating a misconception that mental illness does not affect physical health. In reality, mental health has a direct correlation with physical health.
Some of the common mental ailments that can directly hurt physical health include chronic depression, eating disorders, addictive behaviors, anxiety, Schizophrenia, bipolar depression etc. Here is how a sound mental health can influence the physical health of a person:
- Mental rest can increase endurance- Research conducted at the Bangor University, Wales found that physical and mental fatigues are interlinked. A mentally tiring task can affect a person to finish a physically tiring task as well. Since a person has a perceived notion of getting tired due to mental tiredness, he physically gets tired. The military has known this for years and is used to train their forces for extensive combat and fatigue training.
- Physical health has a direct effect on anxiety- Studies conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine showed that daily exercise leads to a good physical health. The study showed that even 2 weeks of bicycling or cardio training can lead to a reduction of anxiety., Weight can significantly cut down the feeling of constant irritation. Moderate exercise of half an hour can do the trick.
- Breast cancer and stress- A study conducted by the National Cancer Institute, 2008 studies 94 women who were prone to recurring breast cancer. It was found that a set of women who had a high probability of getting cancer went cancer free. Later the study revealed that there is a direct correlation between stress and cancer. Women who had no traumatic experience or leading a stress-free life achieved quicker remission than others.
- Correlation between the hippocampus and physical fitness: In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois, it was reported that there is a direct correlation between the size of the hippocampus and the physical fitness of a person. The fitter the person, the larger is the size of the hippocampus. A smaller or shrinking hippocampus affects spatial memory, cognitive function, and memory retention.
- Emotion-health and the immune system: Poor emotional health can lead to a weakened immune system. A person is likely to suffer from cold, infections in that case. Furthermore, the likelihood of suffering from critical diseases also increases without sound mental health. Studies have found that a person who is depressed is more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases compared to others.