To what extent do mental ailments affect the body?
7.5% of Indians suffer from mental Illnesses and by 2020 this number is set to rise to 20%, as per WHO. However, comparatively little is known about the serious effects of how your mental health impacts your physical well-being. Let’s examine some proven instances of mental illnesses affecting one’s physical well-being.
Heart Disease - As per a recent study from King’s College, people with a severe mental illness are at a 53 % higher risk to develop heart disease. Not only this they have an 85 percent more risk of dying than those in their age group who are mentally healthy.
Cancer - A joint study conducted by the University of Sydney, University College London, and Edinburgh University has demonstrated that serious mental health condition could also make you more likely to develop cancer
Osteoporosis - Everyone in two people with schizophrenia are susceptible to lower bone mass and increased risk of osteoporosis.
As demonstrated, there is a definite link between your mental and physical wellbeing.
When it comes to your physical health, you might know that broccoli is a superfood. That Keto diet is the thing. And that Fitbit is the coolest gadget to flaunt to your buddies at the gym. However, do you know what you need to do to stay mentally healthy? Read on.
1. Get Moving: Do you know that exercise can release hormones that help the development of cells in your brain? Since most mental health problems originate due to chemical changes in the brain, it is important to incorporate physical activities in your routine. Like to play badminton? Get a friend and get going? Go for a morning walk in the nearby park or a jog, start with light yoga at home or take a pilates class, whatever that gets you moving.
2. Eating Healthy: A healthy body is the key to a healthy mind, they say. Tempted to order instant noodles and a glass of your favorite fizzy drink? Instead eat more fresh fruits and local, seasonal vegetables. Drink eight glasses of water. Try to eliminate junk food from your diet as much as possible. Develop the habit of taking your meals on time and remember not to skip them. And when you do eat, eat healthy.
3. Cultivate Bonds: When people are satisfied with the relationships in their life, they are less likely to fall prey to depression or have thoughts about suicide, as compared to those who are lonely. Whether it is your mother, father, grandparents, siblings or friends, learn to nourish and cherish your bond with them. It can help you stay mentally healthy and make you happier. Sharing your feelings with those you love can help you feel more appreciated.
4. Sound Sleep: The initiation of mental illness is noticeable with a marked decrease in the ability to sleep without any disturbance. This then progresses to the inability to get shut eye altogether in extreme cases. Take steps to make the area where you sleep calm, peaceful and noise free. Set a time to sleep at night and to wake up in the morning to get yourself in the routine. A sound sleep of 8 hours at night is important for a healthy mind.
5. Relax and Rejuvenate: It is easy to be bogged down by feelings of stress. This in turn makes you feel restless, inadequate and lowers your confidence. Take a moment to calm yourself down. Write down the ways in which you could relax. Like to paint? Or write? Or play the guitar? Do what makes you feel relaxed and refreshes you in your leisure. These activities help develop a healthy mind, keeping feelings of depression at bay.
Most importantly, if someone who you know shows signs of a mental disorder, intervene and get them help. Support is a crucial part of dealing with those afflicted with these disorders. In this fast-paced world that we live in, emotions can be deep and complex. Learn to acknowledge what you are feeling.
However, think before acting. Be nice to yourself. Do something for someone you love. To stay mentally healthy, look at the brighter side of life. Isn’t life full of so many possibilities for you to explore? Get out there and make the most of them today!
Apart from taking such preemptive measures to safeguard both your physical and mental health, make sure you also take out a critical illness insurance policy to mitigate any potential health risks.