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How are Mental and Physical Health Linked?

Written by Abeey Yonas

Several scientific studies have proven that mental health and physical health are heavily correlated. Like mental health, the deterioration of physical health can be due to a number of factors, such as being predisposed genetically, the environment (e.g. inadequate access to proper healthcare), or simply a lack of motivation due to the type and prognosis of the originating condition. Mental health problems have been linked with headaches, fatigue, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, and, on the more serious side, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and hypertension. Depression, of the most common mental health disorders, has been linked to diabetes, asthma, cancer, and arthritis, according to WebMD. Interestingly enough, the reverse is also true; poor physical health may lead to a worsened mental state as well; for example, the diagnosis of serious diseases may spark anxiety and depression in patients.

What Can I Do About It?

Because the two influence each other to a great extent, many of these suggestions are able to improve both physical and mental health. Both exercise and diet are highly important in doing so. Exercising keeps our bodies in shape, but it also can enhance our mental state; having a healthy diet can do the same. Receiving adequate sleep is also key; for the body to function properly, both physically and mentally, it is a fact that teenagers need at least 8 hours of sleep. And, as always, meditation is a great way to put the mind at ease in times of stress, relaxing both to the body and to the mind.


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