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Despite popular misconception, there is little separation between mental wellbeing and physical wellbeing. Think what impact catching a common cold has on your mood. Then consider the fatigue, aches and other ailments which can spring up when you’re suffering from stress, depression or anxiety. Taking a holistic approach to wellness is the first step to ensuring that your mind and body are happy and healthy. There are plenty of misconceptions around ‘holistic health’, but a holistic approach means to look at the ‘whole person’ instead of their specific illnesses and conditions.

None of the information provided here replaces medical advice from any doctor, healthcare provider, therapist or counsellor. It does highlight some of the most effective ways to make sure that you’re giving yourself the best chance of mental and physical wellness. Note that this article will help to overcome common issues such as stress and anxiety; not to help cure serious health matters.

My practice revolves around simplifying what can feel like overwhelming and impassable issues for my clients. That doesn’t mean diminishing anything that they are currently experiencing. I find the root cause for negative mindsets, habits and behaviours to help my clients break free from those mental shackles and live freely, unbound by negative self-talk and destructive behavioural patterns.

 

How to Holistically Invest in Yourself

Often, mental health is viewed as a black & white issue and people can fall into the mindset of believing that they are mentally unwell and that is a life sentence. This is yet another misconception. The conversation around mental health may have opened up exponentially in recent years, however, plenty of nuance has been stripped from the conversation. The cause of depression is so much more than a lack of happy chemicals in our brains. We have physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs which all need to be met.

The trick to maintaining holistic wellness is to find the right balance in your life, to take responsibility, to be prepared to take on the work to achieve the results you want to see. Even though there is a focus on personal responsibility, a large part of that is knowing when to ask for help and knowing who the right people are to ask for help.

In the same way that we can improve our physical health by hitting the gym and ensuring our diets are balanced and contain all of the nutrients we need; we can also work on our mental health.

Permanent mental wellness isn’t a given, in fact, it isn’t even feasible, if we place that expectation on ourselves, this leads to more stress, more pressure and more negative self-talk. It is a far healthier approach to aim for mental and physical wellness most of the time instead of all the time.

 

How Interconnected are the Mind and Body?

Your mind and body are linked by the nervous system which operates just beneath your conscious awareness. Your nervous system sends messages from your mind to your body, you can’t consciously interpret or intercept these messages, but you will know when your nervous system is telling you that there is a problem.

Your nervous system is an incredibly intricate machine, its necessity is comparable to a hard drive in a computer, but you don’t need a biology degree to make sure that your nervous system is running in optimal condition. You just need to be mindful of how your lifestyle can either positively or negatively impact the nervous system. If your body is tired due to a poor diet, it is unrealistic to expect to be in high spirits.

With that in mind, mental wellness should be something that everyone considers in their day to day lives – it is all about prevention. Once depression or anxiety sets in, it is infinitely harder to achieve holistic health. Think of being proactive about your mental health an insurance policy. You may not need it to payout, but that’s win-win.

 

6 Tips for Maintaining Physical and Mental Wellbeing

Be Honest with Yourself About Your Diet

If you’re feeling anxious, stressed, depressed or sluggish, start a food diary. Assess what you are putting into your body on a day to day basis. Then ask yourself if your body is getting enough of what you need or too much of what is harmful. Your nervous system takes notes of everything you consume (and everything that you don’t). Plenty of food such as foods which are high in sugar or saturated fats can feel comforting when consumed, but the nervous system registers them as anything but comforting.

Find a Self-Help Method Which Works for You

If you’re prone to stress or anxiety, you will find that getting familiar with self-help techniques such as thought field therapy (TFT) or meditation will help you to restore balance within your mind and body. This can take nervous systems off ‘high-alert’ and reduce the levels of cortisol coursing around your body which can lead to feelings of agitation or in extreme cases, panic attacks.

Stop Placing Unrealistic Expectations on Your Mind and Body

Just as it is okay to feel physically run down, it is perfectly fine to feel mentally fatigued. By constantly putting pressure on yourself to be a paragon of health, you’re increasing the likelihood of mental unwellness. Everyone suffers from mental health issues at some point in their lives.

Realise Your Ability to Overcome Mental Health

Anxiety and depression can be extremely debilitating, but that doesn’t mean that the conditions are permanent, and you simply have to resign to the fact that you suffer from a mental health condition for the rest of your life. If you work towards results, with help, they can be achieved.

Find a Healthy Routine Which Works for You

Adopting a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean that you have to hit the gym 6 days a week and eat nothing but leafy greens. Small steps towards a healthy lifestyle still count. If you’re looking to improve your physical and emotional wellbeing, meditation, hypnosis, mindfulness and talking therapies can all be a great starting point. You can’t be expected to suddenly pull motivation and inspiration out of thin air, but with the right support in place, goals will seem infinitely more achievable.

Realise the Importance of the Nervous System

Your body will always let you know when you have left its needs unmet. It will either inform you through mental unwellness such as stress, depression or anxiety or it can manifest as a range of physical problems. For example, if you’re suffering from headaches, what are you reaching for, water or painkillers? If you’re suffering from palpitations and anxiety, do you cut back on the caffeine and sugar, or do you ask your doctor for antidepressants?