We often like to think of our life in little silos. What I do in area X should have no impact on area Y!
Well, this is simply not how God made us.
God created us as intricate, complex creatures – and every part of life has an impact on every other part of life. We see this in our relationships: if I am struggling with my boss, I may take it out on my spouse. We see this in our spiritual lives: we cannot truly be Christians if we only follow God on Sundays at church.
We also see this in the connection between our physical and mental health. Consider the following ways that physical health impacts mental health. Have you ever felt “hangry”? Ever spent a week getting only a few hours of sleep at night? Have you had the flu? These physical issues often leave us feeling irritable, angry, demanding, or sometimes a little depressed and apathetic. You see the connection .
In the end, the better we treat our bodies, the better we will feel emotionally. So take a look at your physical health today with the following areas, and see how they positively impact your mental health over the next few months.
- Drink enough water.
- Exercise several times a week.
- Stretch regularly.
- Sleep at least 8 hours at night.
- Don’t skip meals. (And don’t overeat at meals.)
- Eat green stuff – the vegetable kind.
Of course, I am not a doctor, and none of us at iHope are trained to give medical advice. But caring for ourselves physically is only a good thing. If you’re particularly concerned about your physical health, see a doctor. If you’re particularly concerned about your mental health, see a counselor. We have availability at iHope if you ever need it.