Physical health and emotional health are inextricably linked. Researchers have been studying this connection, trying to find ways of analyzing, measuring and monitoring exactly how one affects the other. Doctors and patients alike have seen the effects of too much unrelieved stress or sleep deprivation on a person’s physical body.
This article—indeed, the next three articles—will delve further into this issue.
An Unhealthy Mind / An Unhealthy Body
"75 to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians result from stress-related disorders." (Paul Rosch, M.D., President, American Institute of Stress)
Even though we all know our physical health can be adversely affected by poor emotional health, unfortunately, many people don’t realize that keeping themselves healthy emotionally needs to be done on a day-to-day, almost moment-to-moment basis. Only when we can no longer function at work, at home or at school—we’ve pushed ourselves to the very limits of what our mind and body can handle—do we stop and take a look at managing those things that are taxing our mental resources.
Maintaining stable emotionality presents an even greater challenge when there is a chronic psychological or psychiatric issue such as chronic fatigue syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, or post-partum depression.
What are Emotions?
Emotions are how our bodies respond to events, circumstances, interpersonal interactions, and our own thoughts and memories, whether we are conscious of them or not. So long as those emotions remain unresolved, life will be stressful and our physical bodies will eventually feel the effects.
Practical Examples of Emotional/Physical Health Link
One example of how our emotions and physical health are linked is what happens to our sleeping patterns when we are stressed.