Physical and Mental Health
Here at Tri-Life we have seen many repetitive patterns with people over the past 20+ years. What should come as no surprise to most of our readers (and our clients that we have spoken with) is that physical and mental health are very strongly interconnected. When someone is not feeling “well” (physically or mentally) there are a few simple things that people can do in the immediate to improve their current situation. Physical Health is just as Important as Mental Health and the evidence of the inter-dependence of both continues to amaze scientists, physicians, nurses, and psychologists.
When people are seeking treatment* one of the strategies that is often included in discussion is lifestyle modification. Regular walking, bike riding or exercises at the gym are a choice for many. One of the easiest, cheapest and immediately available options is walking. But why does walking actually make someone suffering mentally feel better?!
Go For a Walk
When someone is suffering from mild or moderate depression or anxiety (always seek professional help) or stress, doing regular physical exercise (such as a 45 minute walk) can make them feel somewhat better! There is a boost in endorphins, feel-good hormones, blood flow and of course a boost in oxygen circulating in the body. Not only does unmanaged stress often lead to possible serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, researchers have found that the foot’s impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that significantly modify and can increase the supply of blood to the brain.
The Reverse is also true; Depression remains unrecognized and untreated in approximately two thirds of patients with diabetes! When people are over-weight or obese, have hypertension (high blood pressure), or have other chronic diseases such as Diabetes, heart disease etc, the overall rates of anxiety and depression is staggering. The course of depression in patients with diabetes is chronic and severe; even with successful treatment, as many as 80% of patients with diabetes will experience depression relapse.
Thinking, Feeling, Acting
How you think directly affects how you feel and act. Reciprocating this influence what you do/say/act directly impacts how you feel and this directly affects how you think. Put simply, if you are feeling unwell physically OR mentally, the other is sure to follow but you have control to influence the outcome.
We Challenge You:
Make a pledge for some type of a simple daily activity.
Walking is an obvious easy choice but do what you enjoy and will be most likely to sustain over a period of time
Check out this short clip from Dr Mike Evans about….walking!
* Treatment for anxiety/stress/depression may or may not include medication, meditation, counselling including CBT therapy. To find out what is right for you, please speak to your physician or primary care provider.