The Mind – Body Connection

When you are dealing with a health crisis, it doesn’t just take a physical toll. In fact, serious disorders such as heart disease, stroke, and multiple sclerosis have a higher risk of concurrent mental health problems such as depression. Here are some ways to do that.

Join a support group

In addition to a confidante, you will want to plug into a support group with people who are dealing with the same physical illness as you. Talking with others about shared experiences can give you insight and wisdom by listening to their viewpoints, and it creates a bond of community, which can ameliorate the effects of mental disorders.

Practice stress relaxation techniques

If there are times when dealing with your illness just seems like too much, you need to release the stress to calm and clear your mind. It can be something as simple as deep breathing, where you inhale and exhale deeply to a count of three or five. Another good form of stress relief is exercise. Depending on your physical ailment, this could take the form of gentle yoga or tai chi, both of which encourage deep, rhythmic breathing and a focus on the body.

Get a good night’s sleep

Physically, your body needs to rest every day so you be recharged and re-energized. But sleep is also important mentally, too, because if you don’t get enough of it, it can negatively affect your mood. Try to go to bed and wake up at regular times every day and adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep daily. If you have trouble going to sleep, try to keep your bedroom free from light and use a comfortable pillow and mattress.

Do what you love

It’s hard to feel down when you are in the middle of something enjoyable. Whether that’s going for a swim, watching a movie, or taking up a hobby such as knitting or painting, find something that gives you pleasure and carve out the time to do it. Self-care is vital for physical and mental health, and giving yourself some joy in the form of your favorite pastime is good for you—and your well-being.