How Physical Health Can Affect Your Mental Wellbeing
February 1, 2020
Taking care of your mental health at work can be done in a multitude of different ways, including stress management and counselling. But, something which is often overlooked is our physical health and the effect which this can have on our mental wellbeing. Workplace wellbeing is actually more achievable than people believe, particularly if it is approached in a holistic manner.
Our physical symptoms and injuries can influence our mental wellbeing, affecting how we feel, what we do and what we think. It also means that our thoughts and feelings can have a direct effect on our bodies and the way we physically feel. Understanding this link is important when it comes to managing the symptoms of physical illness and allows us to find preventative measures when taking care of ourselves.
Whether it’s taking a brisk walk during your lunch hour, choosing to cycle or walk to work or joining the gym, all forms of physical movement have shown to be an almost fail-safe method when it comes to boosting mental health.
Exercise leads the brain to produce more serotonin, but it also leads to other benefits such as good posture, strength and weight loss, which can all bring its own set of positive effects on your mood and wellbeing.
Some workplaces do offer exercise incentives, such as free gym memberships and cycle to work schemes, but encouraging exercise doesn’t have to be another expense for the business and can be something simple as encouraging employees to go on a walk during their lunch.
Research has long shown that what we eat has an effect on both our physical and mental health. But, with so much research available about what we should or shouldn’t eat, and which is often conflicting, reaching your peak health through diet can be a long, expensive and time-consuming effort.
There are some changes you can make around your workplace if you want to make healthier choices. Having fresh fruit in easy access, rather than sweets and pastries, will provide you with more energy until lunchtime or the end of the day. You could also add supplements and vitamins into your daily diet if you feel you may be lacking. High strength magnesium supplements have a whole host of benefits which you will notice day-to-day, as do probiotic capsules.
Many of us depend on high sugar of caffeinated drinks in order to stay focused during the day, but by taking a few minutes in between tasks provides a much better reset for your brain than an energy drink or coffee.
The intake of nicotine reduces the natural production of the chemical dopamine, which gives our bodies that feel-good emotion. But, as smoking is highly addictive and is considered a personal choice, taking drastic actions against it may lead to resentment.
Getting to understand the effects that nicotine can have on mental help can help those who want to quit to better understand why they feel the way they do when they smoke and how it feels to quit. If you have support whilst trying to quit smoking, then statistically you are much more likely to stick with it.