When it comes to our overall well-being, taking care of our emotional health is as important as taking care of our physical health. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that “there is no health without mental health.” This is because, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association, people with poor mental health are more likely to develop longstanding chronic health problems and people with longstanding health problems are more likely to have poor mental health.
Here are 5 ways you can improve your emotional and physical health starting today:
Get Your Body Moving
Any form of exercise can have a significant and positive impact on your mood. Not only does exercise help your body burn through stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, it also releases feel good chemicals called endorphins, which help fight pain and make you happy.
Consider using brief periods of movement that will make the habit easier to build.
Build a Support Network
It’s very important to have a group of family and friends that you trust to share your problems with. We all need someone to lean on every once in a while who will listen and make us feel less alone.
If you’re currently feeling isolated, reach out to some old friends while making new ones. Consider volunteering, joining a club or trying a new sport. If you are someone who is affiliated with a faith based community or cultural community you could explore what events and activities they may be holding.
Have More Fun
When was the last time you had a good belly laugh? Fun, laughter and pleasure are so important for good mental and physical health. Play and fun can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals as can reliving and remembering fun times.
Here is a great podcast on the benefits of incorporating more fun into your life
Don’t Overuse Food or Alcohol to Cope
During stressful times, many of us make unhealthy food choices. After all, comfort foods, which are often laden with fat and processed carbohydrates make us feel better momentarily, but in the long run don’t fuel our bodies the way we need. Drinking alcohol excessively can negatively affect our emotional health and limiting your consumption and relying on other coping strategies will help you cope more effectively in the long run.
Work with a Therapist
Sometimes, whatever is affecting your emotions may feel too big for you to handle alone. During times like these it’s important to seek guidance from a therapist who can help you understand your behaviors and reactions to events, as well as offer tools to help you cope and manage.
If you’re unsure whether you’re dealing with a temporary emotional slump or full-blown depression, contact a mental health professional as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact us today. We would be happy to speak with you about how we may be able to help.