Improve Mental Health by Improving Physical Health

February 7, 2017 Silke Morin

If you want to improve your mental health, you should improve your physical health. You'll be pleased to know there is a direct association between sleep, exercise, nutrition, and emotional health. Individually, chronic sleep loss, lack of physical activity, or eating poorly can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression. So if you want to improve your mental health, you should improve your physical health, too.

Three Ways to Improve Mental Health with Physical Health

Get Adequate Sleep

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 35% of Americans do not get enough sleep. Seven hours of daily sleep is the recommended amount. If you aren't getting this regularly, your mood may be impacted as researchers have found that sleep loss impairs emotional reactivity and processing.

If you want to improve your emotional health, get adequate sleep. Institute a regular bedtime and remove distractions such as electronic devices from your sleeping environment. Simple changes like these can help you get better sleep.

Move More

To improve your mental health and emotional wellbeing, improve your physical health. Just a little bit of movement helps improve mental health. Read this.Physical activity reduces symptoms of depression and enhances emotional wellbeing. If you can move your body every single day, you can improve your mood.

To increase the likelihood of forming a habit that will stick, do what feels comfortable to you and what's easy for you. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a short walk. Put on music and dance. Plant flowers in your garden. You’re more likely to keep moving if you enjoy the movement you're doing.

Eat a Proper Diet

Proper nutrition is crucial to emotional health. Eat a balanced diet that is rich in tryptophan and omega-3s, which stabilize your mood (Nutrition and Mental Health). Consider taking a multivitamin to reduce depression symptoms. Limit the amount of sugar and processed food you ingest as both can contribute to anxiety.

Also, be mindful to limit alcohol consumption. While some people use alcohol to self-medicate when they are dealing with depression, drinking too much can often worsen symptoms (How Can Depression Lead to Alcohol Abuse and Addiction?).

Improved Mental Health and Better Physical Health Are Related

Your physical health directly impacts your mental health, and a few small changes can make a huge difference in your emotional wellbeing. If you can get adequate sleep, exercise daily, and eat a balanced diet, you will lessen anxiety and depression symptoms. Improving your physical health will improve your mental health.

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APA Reference
Morin, S. (2017, February 7). Improve Mental Health by Improving Physical Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Author: Silke Morin

Silke Morin is a scientist, educator, and writer in Austin, Texas. Striving to live a contemplative life, marked by kindness, compassion, and joy, Silke is the author of Find Silke on Twitter, Google+, and Twitter.

Dr Musli Ferati
October, 13 2017 at 7:58 pm

It mean regular sleeping, active physical style and balancet diet represents appreciable way to global health condititon, both somatic and mental ones. As you mention, mental and physical health exhibit unseparable integrity and each somatic disorder has got direct and indirect negative impact to mental welfare and vice versa. So, it is of crucial importance to maintain good physical health in order to have got better mental health. Improving these three daily vital issue, we contribute substantially to healthy somatic and -mental state, that lead to happy and successful global social life. In this direction, social welfare permit also to global wellbeing. However, the awareness to connect functionally physical and mental in personal lifestyle indicate meaningful step in order to have more healthy global welfare. In this direction, the tendency to improve and to upgrade amicable social network lead also to better personal. mental and social integrity. This three dimensional integrity fulfill our physical and mental diade, and take care about this complex health constellation.

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