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6 Ways Your Mental Health Affects Your Overall Well-Being

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Every one of us faces stress in our daily lives – and in the modern day, it’s becoming increasingly common. Whether it’s stress from an overbearing workload or stress from relationship problems, it seems everyone is worried about something or the other.

But you might not know that prolonged periods of poor mental health can take a toll on your life, affecting your well-being.

That’s why it’s becoming more crucial than ever to keep your mental well-being in check and look out for those around you. Below, we’ll share how your mental health affects your overall well-being and why you should take care of it:

Work Performance

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A deteriorating state of mind can enormously affect how well we can concentrate, focus, and be productive at work. Stress, anxiety, and depression can all cause decreased work efficiency, resulting in missed deadlines, poor work quality, and possible job loss.

Acknowledging that mental wellness and job performance are intricately connected is important. If you’re seeking ways to manage your declining mental health, approaching a certified mental health expert would prove worthwhile. These professionals possess the relevant knowledge and skillset gained through training and academic programs like master of science in applied psychology to help you identify and overcome your challenges. Given the knowledge and competencies honed through higher academic pursuits, these professionals are well-versed in unearthing underlying mental health issues and tackling them.

Physical Health

Our physical and mental well-being are inextricably intertwined. Declining mental health can negatively impact overall well-being, increasing our risk of serious illnesses and health problems.

When we suffer from mental health challenges, they can interfere with how well we carry out our daily lives. It may result in actions that harm our physical well-being, such as binge eating, smoking, or drinking too much. These habits, over time, can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, gastric and pulmonary issues, and suppression of immunity.

But what’s more, a worsening state of mental health may flare up any existing or underlying problems you might have. So, if you suffer from psoriasis, doctors may recommend looking after your mental health to help with the treatment.

Sleep

Source: sleepfoundation.org

We’ve all had those nights where we’re tossing and turning in bed, counting sheep, yet sleep is nowhere to be found. And when the morning comes, we’re all grumpy and sleep-deprived.

But if you suffer from a mental health problem, odds are you’re having more than a few of those nights. That’s because poor mental health is linked to sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea. Insomnia is when it’s difficult to fall or stay asleep, whereas sleep apnea causes breathing difficulties, making people wake up often during the night.

On the other hand, poor sleep can worsen an existing mental health condition – so it’s a vicious cycle. However, tackling mental health-related problems may help manage your sleeping disorders better, improve your overall well-being, and prevent various health problems associated with inadequate sleep.

Relationships

It’s no secret that when you’re doing well mentally, you thrive in every aspect of your life, including your relationships. But your relationships take a hit when you’re not doing too well mentally. You’ll be too focused on what’s bothering you to nurture your relationships. For example, if you suffer from depression, you might not want to talk to your loved ones or even see them. They’ll feel shut out, negatively affecting your relationship with them.

But besides that, mental health issues can adversely impact our relationship with ourselves, resulting in low self-esteem, self-criticism, and self-destructive behaviors that can wreak havoc on our relationships.

Nonetheless, your loved ones are there to help you and support you through these challenging times, but you need to let them in first for them to do that.

Substance Abuse

When a person battles mental health challenges, it’s not uncommon for them to try to self-medicate instead of seeking help. And even though it might temporarily relieve them of their symptoms, it opens the gate to a much bigger problem – addiction. When you’re addicted to a harmful substance, it can slowly destroy your overall well-being. The substance becomes your priority; you’d do anything to get that hit, even if it ruins your life.

The nicotine in cigarettes, for example, stimulates the release of dopamine, so people might smoke to alleviate the symptoms of depression. Yet, nicotine provides only temporary relief, so those people may develop a recurrent need to smoke, resulting in an addiction.

And while some drugs may temporarily alleviate the effects of a mental illness, they can also aggravate acute and long-term symptoms. For instance, evidence suggests that cocaine use can exacerbate the symptoms of bipolar disorder and lead to the illness’s development.

Cognitive Function

Source: multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com

Your cognitive function may decline when you suffer from deteriorating mental health. Depression, for instance, can make it difficult to concentrate or make decisions. Anxiety may trigger racing thoughts, making concentrating on tasks or recalling details difficult. Studies have shown stress to impair memory and the capacity to learn new information. Additionally, chronic stress can harm the brain’s structure, particularly in the areas that regulate memory and emotion regulation.

These health issues can impair one’s ability to think, solve problems, and make decisions. If left untreated, mental health issues may give rise to more severe cognitive impairments and even dementia over time.

Conclusion

If you want to be healthy and do well in life, there’s something you cannot neglect, and that is your mental health. Failure to acknowledge it can lead to negative consequences that may affect your overall well-being. The cruciality of mental health can’t be ignored, from damaging your relationships with your loved ones to ruining your sleep.

While adopting a healthy way of life can help enhance your physical and mental well-being, some people may need professional assistance to manage their psychological health—which is normal. You can even receive mental health therapy in the privacy of your home.

Positive self-talk is necessary for optimal health, and therapy might assist you in identifying and substituting negative thoughts, actions, and emotions with healthier ones. Therapy, when paired with healthy lifestyle choices, can help you attain good health inside and out. So, start today and make sure your mental health isn’t stopping you from living your best life.

 

Written by Nathaniel Buckley