How mental outlook and emotions affect your health
Your mental and emotional outlook on life matters to your health. When you have learned healthy ways to cope with the stress and problems of life, you are already well on your way to dealing healthfully with any major physical health repercussions. But if any disruptions affect your emotional health, leading to sadness, stress or anxiety, your ability to affectively cope with a health issue, can dictate how quickly you recovery from a physical setback.
How does mental outlook and emotions affect health?
Your body is very in tune with your emotions and mental outlook on life. Think of it as the mind/body connection. When you are physically and mentally feeling “good,” generally you experience better health. You tend to feel both physically and emotionally well.
However, if you are feeling stressed, anxious, or upset, you may react and respond to these emotions in various ways negatively affecting your health. For example, a jaded mental outlook or emotions may result in raising your blood pressure or developing a stomach ulcer. These emotional side effects are not unusual for anyone who has experienced an especially stressful event, such as the death of a loved one.
Each of us will have events in our lives causing significant stress. It boils down to how we handle those stressful times mentally and emotionally. When dealt with in a more positive manner, managing your mental and emotional health is just as important to your physical health as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
Another thing to consider is the effect of poor emotional health on your immune system. When mental and emotional outlook is poor, this may weaken your body’s defense mechanism making you more susceptible to colds and other infections. Some signs of poor emotional health affecting your overall health may include the following:
· Back pain
· Change in appetite
· Constipation or diarrhea
· Dry mouth
· Extreme tiredness
· General aches and pains
· Palpitations (the feeling that your heart is racing)
· Stiff neck
· Upset stomach
· Weight gain or loss
Steps to improve mental and emotional health for overall health maintenance
To get a better handle on keeping your emotions from affecting your health, first recognize and understand the emotion you are feeling. Ask yourself, “Why am I feeling sad or worried?” You may have to dig deep to completely understand the feelings you are experiencing. When you can answer that question, it can help you sort out the causes of those emotions helping you manage your emotional health. Here are other steps to improve your mental and emotional health:
· Learn to express your feelings in appropriate ways – Physical problems caused or exacerbated by strong emotions or a poor mental outlook do not help improve the situation. While you can express how you feel, if you are struggling to reach a better frame of mind, you may need to consider seeking advice from professionals. Discuss your feelings with your doctor, a counselor, or a religious advisor for advice and support to help you improve your emotional health.
· Live a balanced life – Look for the good in your life and what you are grateful for. If you find yourself obsessing over negative thoughts or feelings, learn how to deal with them. It’s ok to acknowledge or express what you are feeling but try to focus on the positives in your life too. Having a positive attitude can improve the quality of your life while giving your health a boost. Also, make time for things bringing you joy.
· Be resilient – When you are resilient – someone who is able to recover from difficult situations quickly – this is a gift helping you deal with stress in a healthy way. Learn to become more resilient by having a positive attitude toward yourself, have a good social support system, learn to accept change and keep things in perspective.
· Calm your body and mind – Learning how to let go and relax is a necessary skill for improving mental and emotional outlook. Use relaxation techniques such as meditation, listening to music, listening to guided imagery, do yoga or Tai Chi, all which can bring your emotions into balance.
· Take care of yourself – For good physical health, it’s necessary to also have good emotional health. Eat regular nutritious meals; get sufficient sleep and exercise daily to release pent-up tension. Avoid overeating, using drugs or alcohol as coping methods.