Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. Mental and emotional well-being are essential to overall health. So much so that social science and experimental research are beginning to suggest that initiatives that aim to promote physical wellbeing without including mental and social wellbeing may be doomed to failure. Research shows a link between a healthy mental state and physical signs of good health including lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease and a healthier weight.

Mind Body Connection 

The body responds to the way people think, feel and act. Emotional distress creates susceptibility to physical illness. Possibly by lowering the immune system, but also by the use of unhealthy coping habits like smoking, drinking, and the consumption of high fat foods.

People who are emotionally healthy are aware and in control of their own thoughts, feelings and behaviors as well as tuned in to the emotions others experience. Good emotional health does not mean that a person is happy all of the time, but when they do have stress, anger and sadness, they know how to manage their negative feelings and seek help when a problem is more than they can handle on their own.

Are Health Problems Causing Stress or Stress Causing Health Problems?

Feeling stressed or anxious can act as emotional, social and intellectual barriers to healthy behaviors. When a person is upset, they may not feel like exercising, eating nutritious foods or taking medicines their doctor subscribes. ¬≠¬≠Lack of emotional wellbeing may lead to back pain, chest pain, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, headaches, trouble sleeping, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, stiff neck, upset stomach, weight gain or loss.

Expressing Feelings in Appropriate Ways

If feelings of sadness, stress or anxiety are causing physical problems, keeping these feelings inside can make people feel worse. Overcoming those obstacles for positive behavior change is a skill. Having a positive outlook can improve quality of life and give a health boost. Offering tools to help people improve their emotional health skills include:

What can you as an employer do to promote positive mental health?

Contact us for more guidance on how to integrate, design and implement programs that balance the unique and powerful connection between mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Mind-Body Connection for Well-Being from Amy Cohen

Please follow and like us: