For far too long, mental health has not been given the priority that it deserves. While there has been a promising shift in recent years regarding how society views mental health, Dr. Mazi claims that we still have a long way to go before the stigma regarding mental health is eliminated completely.
Stigma or not, though, mental health is the first step to good overall health. To help shed light on the importance of mental health, let’s hear from Dr. Juli Mazi ND on the strong link between mental health and overall well-being.
The Link Between Mental Health and Physical Health
In more ways than one, we often treat the mind and body like two completely different systems. However, the link between the two when it comes to health and wellness is much stronger than many people might realize.
Juli points to the abundance of research showcasing the impact of mental health on a person’s physical health as proof of this link. Consider, for example, the fact people with mental health disorders have an average life expectancy that is almost a decade shorter than those who do not. Other studies have shown that physical conditions such as chronic pain, fatigue, and gastrointestinal issues can all be caused by mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Even excess stress has been shown to cause physical symptoms and can significantly impact a person’s overall health.
The fact that mental health conditions can often cause physical symptoms is one key reason why mental health is the first step to overall health. According to Dr. Mazi ND, though, the story doesn’t end there.
Additional Factors Behind the Importance of Mental Health
Let’s start with the obvious; if we define health as living a long, happy, and pain-free life then it’s easy to see why mental health is such an important part of overall health even if you discount the physical symptoms that mental health disorders can cause. It’s hard to live a healthy and fulfilling life when your mind is in pain, and mental health conditions can severely decrease a person’s quality of life even if their body is perfectly healthy.
Mental health disorders can also prevent people from putting in the work required for optimum health. Depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders can all drain your motivation, making it harder to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet and plenty of exercise.
For all of these reasons, she considers mental health a vital cornerstone of a person’s overall wellbeing. If you are struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Medication, counseling, and lifestyle changes can all go a long way toward improving your mental health and putting you on the path to better overall health.