A healthy mind and a healthy body are intertwined. An equilibrium of the two is the secret to leading a happy and optimistic life. This balance makes complexities and trials stay away, or at least, you face them with a brave front.
The Importance of Mind and Body Balance
As we lead busy lives, there are people who have become sedentary because of little to no time to spare on physical activities. Thus, though their mental state is OK, that’s not to say that they have the optimal mind wellness. Also, it’s not an indicator that you’ll be a good performer when you are ignoring your physical health.
Take a look at professional athletes. They’re the prime examples of people who are not only physically fit, but also those who take their mental wellbeing just as important. Preparing for matches and the desire to get the gold induce stresses of differing levels. The way they overcome this state every single time is through their efficient management of stress and honing their abilities.
You don’t have to be a pro athlete to achieve this feat. There are many ways to be at your prime but they do take dedication and effort. Know that the processes don’t show overnight, though they tend to manifest for the long term.
Advantages of Having Good Physical Health
From a study of BMC Public Health conducted in 2014, there’s a direct relationship between the volume of physical activity and happiness. People who do recreational physical activities are happier. One way to explain this is they’re doing what they like (i.e. hobbies, interests). From the same study, people were more motivated to do hard labor while doing their hobbies because those promote more self-awareness and self-worth.
Some other benefits of attaining good health for the body are as follows:
A popular saying is “You are what you eat.” As you become more focused on achieving the best body, you become more careful with what you eat. Eating the right foods and maintaining a healthy diet provide nutrients and minerals that not only benefit the body, but also the cognitive skills of our brain.
Getting rid of the fats lingering in your body can spike up your happiness meter. It’s not wrong to be fat, but think of this scenario: you’ll suffer from diseases in the future and pay exorbitant prices for medicine. Then, it’s not a very welcome thought to be too sluggish. When you have a healthy body, you can enjoy doing sports or playing physical games without being dog-tired due to lack of stamina.
People who are happier appear to be “blooming” or having radiant skin. This is due to the physical activities namely aerobic exercise that has the benefits of improving blood flow and healing the wounds quicker.
Advantages of Having Good Mental Health
The mind’s wellness is just as important as the body’s fitness. Some people just want a healthy body because they think that their mind is already in a good state. The truth is, poor mental health doesn’t immediately equate to depression or whatnot. A long time of abandoning one’s self can lead to other mental conditions such as anxiety. Conversely, the more common symptoms are poor memory, deteriorating analyzation skills, poor decision-making, and many others.
The way to achieve mental and body health balance is through fitness activities like exercise and training. According to Brad Manor of Harvard Medical School, mental functions dictate the body’s systems to work properly in order to stay upright.
Here are some of the benefits of having a good mind and body connection:
Suffering from chronic stress due to many aggressors can lead to serious consequences. Some of which are gaining weight, lowered immune system, increase in blood pressure, etc.. Don’t let stress overtake you when you’re facing a difficult situation. Many people have become depressed because they let the stress and woes consume them.
Be More Optimistic
Mental strength is also connected to our emotions. When you achieve good mental wellness, it shows in our faces and the outlook on life is renewed. People become more optimistic and can face any challenge without losing confidence or hope. From a research conducted by USGS, having a positive outlook in life adds years to the lifespan as compared to pessimists. The impact of optimism can also spread to the people around you.
Have Motivations And Inspirations
People can start any task if they have a goal. However, while doing it, you need motivation and inspiration to keep you going to complete it. Having a good mental health leads you to success as you adopt a “no retreat, no surrender” or “no guts, no glory” attitude. Success follows those who are persistent in reaching their goals.
When you have a good mental state, you become satisfied. You have lesser selfish antics wishing that you have this and that. Most importantly, you are contented with what you have now.
Have More Self-Control
When you are healthy, you have more control over yourself. You decide whether you let the negativity affect you or let the addiction (on food, alcohol, sex) get to you. What’s more, you get a peace of mind or a calm state because you know yourself more.
Why You Should Exercise
According to the American Psychological Association (2010), leading a sedentary lifestyle gives opportunity for many diseases to occur. Inactivity of our bodies can become the culprit of having poor mental health that leads to certain mental illnesses. In simplest terms, exercising can be the direct link in achieving both mind and body balance.
Exercising is very important in our lives. Researches have even proved that exercise has cognitive-boosting effects like improved logic, multitasking, memory, etc. In a scientific sense, exercise increases blood flow production and the flow of oxygen to the brain. The brain cells then function at a higher level, making you more alert. What’s more, five minutes after starting the exercise, the body produces hormones such as endorphins which is why you “feel good” after sweating it out.
Now, what kind of exercise should you do? Any activity that gets your body moving is a good start. You can do morning walks at a moderate pace, do strength training or even cardiovascular exercises. As a beginner, don’t push yourself too hard because you might strain your muscle fibers. The way to keep your body in top shape is to spend at least 30 minutes five days a week doing moderate to high-level exercises.
The mind and body’s health are like a two-way street. When you have poor mental wellbeing, the physical body deteriorates in working properly and vice-versa. Taking care of the two should be equal. To live stress-free and to look at life from a good perspective, the change should come from within you.
About the author
Karmen is a freelance writer from Tartu, Estonia whose second passion is health and nutrition.
She is currently working as a Virtual Assistant providing services to different marketing companies.