·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Health & Medicine

How Our Mental Health Directly Affect Our Physical Health

— May 28, 2021

Don’t toy with your mental or physical health. Exercise daily, eat healthy foods, sleep well, and quit negative addictive habits. 

Are you one of those who think that their mental health has nothing to do with their physical health? Well, research has proven otherwise. Your mental health is linked to your physical health. Getting this right will help you make informed decisions about your health and general well-being.

Unfortunately, many people don’t know the relationship between their mental health and physical health. And sadly, those who do don’t give two hoots about the consequences of this deleterious neglect. So, this article is explicitly written to clear all doubts and answer most frequently ask questions about mental health. 

What is Health?

Of course, there are numerous definitions of health. But according to the World Health Organization, health is “a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being…” In other words, good health is tripartite, and when one of part of it is missing, the other two deteriorate.

What is Mental Health All About?

According to the WHO, mental health is the state of well-being where you realize your abilities, and can work effectively and productively and cope with normal stresses of life. It also factors one’s contribution to the growth of the community. Mental health involves the use of one’s ability and intelligence while being emotionally strong and alive.

Now that we know what mental health is and that it has direct impact on the way you feel, think and act, let’s explore how this psychological and emotional part of our health relates with our physical health.

Lifestyles That Affect My Mental and Physical Health

There are four (4) common lifestyles that affect your mental and physical health. These lifestyles are usually daily habits ingrained in our subconscious. These habits could have positive or negative effects and go a long way in determining how long we live, how happy we are, and our productivity as well. Such activities are:

  1. Exercise

Exercise is important to our physical and mental health. It has been reported that at least 30 minutes of daily workout improves health and wellness. Exercise reduces the risk of diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and mental instability. In addition, exercise helps to improve brain function while improving the quality of sleep. And if you’ve been looking to attain or maintain a healthy body weight, turn to exercise.

There are a number of exercises you can try like hiking, cycling, jogging, pushups and so on. But it’s important to start out according to your body’s capacity and take periods of rest when necessary. 

  1. Diet

    Ultraprocessed Foods Conclusively Linked to Serious Health Issues
    Photo by Brian Chan on Unsplash

If you eat right, your mental and physical health will benefit greatly. People who are deprived of a balanced diet are prone to poor academic performance, forgetfulness, depression, diseases, tiredness, etc. Not only that, poor diet in children can lead to stunted growth and impaired development.

  1. Drinking and Smoking

People who smoke heavily are more prone to mental illness and may die young. Heavy drinking and smoking have impact on the way we think and our physical health as well. For example, smoking increases tension and worry and causes a quick decline in cognition. 

Heavy drinkers are prone to kidney failure and urinary diseases. They are also mentally weaker and are often depressed. And when you smoke and drink, the combo is detrimental as they can lead to mouth and throat cancer among a host of other diseases. 

  1. Sleep/Rest

Too much sleep (or a lack of adequate sleep) can have detrimental effects on one’s mental and physical health. Quality sleep has been proven to be advantageous to the body and mind. Get a full night’s sleep and you will get a full day of productivity. People who suffer from sleep deprivation long term can have health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, etc.

Also, mental problem such as depression, lack of appetite, forgetfulness, anxiety and can trigger mania. On the other hand, too much sleep is not good for your mental health. It can cause lethargy and considerably reduce your productivity. So, get an average of 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep a day.

How Mental Health Affect Physical Health?

Here are 3 examples of how your mental health directly affect your physical health. Now let’s get to know the three most common mental health issues and how they relate to our physical health.

  1. Depression

This is a protracted loss of interest and enthusiasm in daily activities and often results in social isolation. It may be caused by loneliness, failure, bereavement, the loss of one’s job, etc. Depression affects overall productivity. It also results in lack of appetite, sleep, and slipping into bad habits like smoking and drinking. All these directly lead to serious physical health conditions.

  1. Anxiety

This is a disorder where one frequently worries about or fears situations. Sometimes the event that he or she is worried about may not be real or may never happen. This may be caused by previous experiences, lack of sleep, childhood abuse, and long-term stress. This mental condition results into physical health conditions such chest pain, shortness of breath, heart attack, irregular heartbeat and dizziness.

  1. Addictive Behavior

Addiction is an involvement in a particular behavior, in which the person involved cannot halt or disengage from the act despite the fact that the behavior is detrimental to the person or others. Many factors may result in addictive behavior, including genetics. Research has shown that someone is likely to develop an addictive behavior if a close relative has a genetically-related one. 

However, some other factors include – childhood abuse, loss of job or loved ones, social isolation, poverty etc. Addictive behavior is not only drinking and smoking, it involves gambling, sexual promiscuity and some other habits. This mentally-driven behavior has direct impact on physical health. For example, sexual promiscuity can lead to various sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and gonorrhea.


Don’t toy with your mental or physical health. Exercise daily, eat healthy foods, sleep well, and quit negative addictive habits. 

Join the conversation!