When you’re looking to build a healthy lifestyle, what’s the first change that comes to mind? You may think about developing a regular workout routine and consulting a fitness trainer. Or, it may have been an idea about eating healthier and changing your daily caloric intake. What you may not have initially considered is taking time to consult a mental health professional and develop a plan for reducing stress and increasing productivity. With time-effective, online options from services like MyTherapist, you may want to reconsider your answer.
Your mental health care plan can often look similar to what you might expect a physical health plan to look like: regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, active hobbies you enjoy, etc. This is because developing your mind and caring for your mental well-being can positively affect your physical well-being as well. The effects of stress, depression, and other mental health conditions can take a toll on areas like your heart and stamina levels. Having an effective routine in place for both physical and mental stability develops a helpful cycle to improve multiple areas.
Stress and other mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can increase your risk of developing chronic illnesses and heart disease. As we age, the natural process of our body breaking down can be sped up by the long-term effects of untreated stress. It’s important to note that there are normal amounts of stress: an occasionally stressful day, the heightened anxiety by a wasp in your area, or even general worry over an upcoming interview. The negative effects start to take an unhealthy tool if you don’t have enough time relaxing and healing from those stressful situations.
Sleep schedules can be thrown off by a lot: a stressful day at work, a broken AC system, or even a very sneaky mosquito. When it’s thrown off for more than a few evenings, it starts to take a toll on our body. This includes the effects of insomnia as well as problems with sleeping too much. A common side effect of mental health conditions like depression is extreme fatigue. No matter how many hours of sleep you get, you’re likely to feel mentally and physically exhausted. Your mental health professional is trained to help you develop habits that will improve your sleep cycle to give you more energy that allows you to focus on making more improvements in your life.
Reckless and addictive behavior like alcoholism, drug use, and other extreme activities can be exacerbated by poor mental health and conditions like depression, anxiety, etc. Not only do these worsen the effects of your condition, but they could also lead to negative health effects in the future. As you begin to improve your mental health and begin to control your negative emotions and urges, these kinds of harmful behaviors are most likely going to occur less. While thrilling activities that push your comfort zone can be a great exercise in self-expression, this kind of fun should be had in moderation.
As you continue to improve your mental health, you’ll start to see the cycle of physical and mental wellness going hand in hand. As your mood and behaviors improve, so will your stamina and motivation to continue activities that make you happy. While this isn’t going to cure depression, exactly, it’s the cycle a therapist or counselor will help you work toward achieving. These routines that help promote helpful activities will give you the tools and strategies to work through and cope with mental health conditions.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional.