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  • Writer's pictureFrances Hammel-Kampus

Exploring the Connection Between Mental and Physical Health

World Health Day is on April 7, and it got our team thinking about the definition of health - and how complex that can be. 


This year’s theme for World Health Day, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), is ‘My health, my right,’ which reinforces the universal right to quality health services.


We wanted to explore the deep-rooted link between physical and mental health and how this year’s theme encourages a holistic view of health that includes environmental, social, and personal factors. As the WHO states, “There is no health without mental health.”


Exploring the Connection Between Mental and Physical Health

The Interconnectedness of Mental and Physical Health


Did you know… the relationship between mental and physical health is scientifically proven! It’s also a bond that impacts every aspect of our lives.


Research has consistently shown that mental health conditions can have a significant impact on physical health. Unexplained aches and pains are often symptoms of depression. Some people experience chronic joint pain, limb or back pain, gastrointestinal issues, fatigue, or sleep disruptions.


Mental health factors can also increase the risk of developing physical problems like diabetes, weight loss or gain, and cardiovascular concerns. Just as mental health issues can lead to physical health problems, physical health conditions can exacerbate mental health issues, creating a cycle that can be challenging to break.


It is important for everyone—healthcare providers or not—to understand this connection. It highlights how vital it is to approach health from a holistic perspective that takes care of the body and the mind. 


By doing this, we can demonstrate that taking care of our hearts or muscles requires also taking care of what is happening inside our heads and inner voices. By taking this approach, we can improve our quality of life.


Strategies for Maintaining Mental Health


Maintaining and improving mental health is so important for a balanced and fulfilling life. Here are some of our favourite practical tips that can be added into your daily routine to enhance mental well-being:


Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness means being totally present and involved in whatever task you are working on without interruption or judgement. We recognize that it isn’t always easy - this is why it’s called a practice! 


Deep breathing exercises, meditation, or just pausing to notice your surroundings can all be part of a daily mindfulness practice. These techniques support better emotional control, stress reduction, and general well-being.


Regular Exercise

Engaging in physical activity has advantages for both mental and physical well-being. Regular exercise, such as cycling, yoga, or walking, can lessen the symptoms of disorders like anxiety and depression. Exercise, even little bursts like a short ten-minute stroll or a two song dance party, might improve mood. 


Finding an exercise you actually like doing is really helpful. You might as well get joy out of that movement, right? 


Adequate Sleep

Restful sleep is essential for mental well-being. Set a consistent sleep routine by aiming to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Establish a calming nighttime ritual, minimize screen time before bed, and make sure your sleeping space is cozy and restful. Making sleep a priority is crucial since getting too little sleep can cause stress, anxiety, and depression to worsen.


Healthy Eating

Nutrition plays a big role in mental health, too! Incorporate a variety of nutrient-rich foods into your diet, focusing on whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Some research suggests that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and flaxseeds, may also support mental health.


Social Connections

Keeping up solid social ties and relationships is also great for mental health. Maintain regular contact with your loved ones, whether it be by text messaging, video calls, or in-person visits. Social support can lift your spirits, make you feel like you belong, and lessen feelings of loneliness.


Limit Screen Time

Overusing screens, particularly social media, can damage your mental well-being. Set limits on screen time to prevent comparisons and information overload, which can cause anxiety or feelings of inadequacy.


The Role of Therapy in Overall Health


Therapy is a huge component of overall health care, offering support for mental and physical well-being. At Moose Jaw Psychology, we offer various therapeutic approaches that address the mind-body connection: 


In our Individual Therapy sessions, you can examine your inner thoughts and emotions in a safe environment. Our incredible therapists assist our clients in recognizing and resolving issues, developing individualized treatment programs tailored to their needs, and promoting continuous self-awareness and self-check-ins. This tailored approach guarantees that each client gets the targeted support required to overcome their unique obstacles.


In our Skills Group sessions, clients experience a dynamic, encouraging community that focuses on teaching skills and strategies for a well-rounded life. Considering the link between physical and mental health, these programs emphasize developing stress management techniques and building resilience and self-confidence. You’ll also learn tools and strategies for managing anxiety and mood concerns, aiming to improve your overall mental well-being and quality of life.


Our Parent/Caregiver Support programs are created with the understanding that parents and other caregivers play a critical role in the health and well-being of kids and teens. We want to improve the lives of younger people in many ways, including their physical health, by actively involving caregivers in support roles. Through child and teen development education, our programs help caregivers better support their loved one's mental and physical growth. By understanding the stages of development, caregivers can tailor their support to meet the specific needs of their children and teens. You’ll also discover ways to actively support their development, including practices related to diet, exercise, and sleep patterns that impact physical health.


Our therapy services are strengthened by our team of experienced clinicians, who provide guidance and support to deliver evidence-based, effective care. This Team Consult approach enables us to integrate multidisciplinary perspectives, engage in problem-solving and case analysis, apply innovative treatment strategies, and foster enhanced professional development. We recognize the complex relationship between physical and mental health in our care techniques and strive to improve families' overall well-being and health outcomes by addressing both psychological and physical components through our therapy approaches.


Prioritizing Mental Wellness for a Healthier Life

Prioritizing Mental Wellness for a Healthier Life


True transformation can happen when multiple forms of care and support are combined. Our Signature Framework uses several elements of therapy and considers the numerous puzzle pieces that determine overall health.


Please get in touch with us or book your first appointment to learn how we can support you and your loved ones.

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