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World Mental Health Day 2023: Know the link between physical and mental health

There is a strong link between physical and mental health, as both aspects of our well-being are interconnected and can greatly impact each other. Physical health is not just limited to the absence of illnesses or diseases but also includes maintaining a healthy mental state.

Written By: Kristina Das @https://twitter.com/KristinaDas2 New Delhi Published on: October 10, 2023 12:36 IST
world mental health day 2023
Image Source : FREEPIK Know the link between physical and mental health.

People across the world are observing World Mental Health Day 2023 on October 10 to raise awareness about mental well-being. However, one should know about the link between physical and mental health. Any kind of physical movement routine or exercise regime is going to have a positive impact on your mental health for different reasons. One, of course, there are the cardiovascular and physical health benefits, that come with following a physical movement routine, whether it is walking or yoga practice, or you know, going to the gym, whatever it is. So those cardiovascular benefits mean that if you feel stronger than your body, you feel fitter in your body. And that gives you a semblance of control. 

In a world where generally there are a lot of things which don't feel like they are in our control. Now then, there is the other side of what happens when we exercise, there is ample research and literature which tells us about the kind of hormones and neurotransmitters that are produced in our body, when we exercise or move our body for anything, whether it is dancing, or yoga are running, it is good, they generate a positive impact on our mood. So serotonin or dopamine, are the kind of body neurochemicals that we are seeking when it comes to the treatment of depression or anxiety or a vast variety of mental health disorders. These are produced when you go exercise.

Now, coming to the third tangent of why exercise is going to be useful for you. We generally live in a world where our mind is constantly running lists of all the things that we are unable to do, or we are falling short or behind on. In that way, being able to commit to and then maintain an exercise or movement regime is a constant feedback to one's self-esteem and my narrative of self, which is saying that no, this is something that you are able to do. So you're not a complete, to use a colloquial term, a complete, no, you know, no hope case, there is hope. Because this is something that you are able to maintain this is something that you are able to commit. So in that sense, it gives a positive boost to your self-esteem to your narrative of self-efficacy and self-worth. The second thing is, of course, you see the physical impact of that movement routine. According to Ms Dinika Anand, Mental Health And Behavioural Sciences, Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry Department, BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital, you feel fitter, you feel stronger, and you feel more energetic, which also helps you contribute to your narrative of self-efficacy and self-worth.

The third thing is, in this same regard, most of the things that we do are the things that fit on a to-do list. So the exercise regime that we maintain, kind of also creates a forced downtime in my very busy day.

So talking about exercise and mental health, mental health practitioners, definitely recommend some kind of physical movement routine to all their clients and patients. The reason is that it creates a certain sense of self-efficacy and self-worth, it gives anti message to that constant ringing in the brain that you are doing nothing. So being able to show up even if it is for 15 minutes of stretching is a win. 

ALSO READ: World Mental Health Day 2023: Know the importance of nutrition for mental well-being

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