Mental health has been very much talked about in recent years, both in the privacy of our homes and in the media. This is because it has come to light how many people are actually suffering with their mental health and letting their mental health deteriorate until there is no turning back. In fact, according to the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide with People with Mental Illness in 2015, between the years 2003–2013 in England, 13,972 deaths were identified as patient suicides, i.e. where the person concerned had been in contact with mental health services in the 12 months prior to their death, which represents an average of 1,270 patient suicides per year over the period. This is a heartbreaking statistic which underlines the importance of mental heath and seeking professional help where necessary. But why do so many people in the UK and around the world suffer with their mental health? Well, just like our physical health, our mental health won’t stay optimal for our whole lives. It is completely natural to have dips and peaks in our mental health and we need to remember that mental health is a spectrum with 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year. So, it is clear that mental health problems are a lot more common than we think and shouldn’t be something to shy away from or consider ‘taboo’ but is actually just as important as our physical health. I mean, we go for routine checkups at our dentist and pay a visit to our doctor when we think someone is wrong with our physical health, so why don’t we pay the same attention to our mental health? In this article I am going to list 10 reasons why your mental health is just as important as your physical health and why we should pay more attention to our emotional wellbeing.
1. Improves Quality Of Life.
There are so many different mental health problems which can be extremely debilitating and affect your ability to function. Disorders such as Anxiety disorder, Bipolar disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic disorder and so many more can really affect one’s ability to function normally on a day to day basis and in some extreme cases, people who suffer badly from these mental health disorders will be unable to live alone and need assisted living. So, it is clear that your mental health is just as important as your physical health because both can drastically affect your quality of life.
2. Better Physical Health.
There have been numerous studies regarding the relationship between deteriorating mental health and physical health which have all drawn the conclusion that better mental health leads to better physical health. This is because on average, people with mental health problems are much less likely to carry out as much exercise or physical activity as people without mental health problems because they may feel less motivated or tired as a result of medication. So, it is important to maintain good mental health so that you can keep your body physically healthy and fit.
3. More Fulfilling And Healthier Relationships.
There is no doubt that having bad mental health causes strain on existing relationships and can often cause relationships with friends and family members to deteriorate. In fact, according to a study carried out by The Priory Group, 80% of patients agreed that their mental health conditions had a negative effect on their family. This detrimental effect can be caused for many reasons, but it is important to remember that dealing with someone with a severe mental problem can be a traumatic and stressful experience for friends and surrounding family members, putting a serious strain on relationships and may, in some cases, result in the breakdown of relationships. Mental health problems can also massively affect the way in which patients are able to maintain close relationships, proving that your mental health is in fact just as important as your physical health and the deterioration of either can have a negative effect on relationships.
4. Better Productivity.
Another reason that your mental health is just as important as your physical health is because both of these can massively affect your productivity and ability to work. This is because mental health problems can often cause fatigue, impaired attention, concentration and poor memory, which are often as a result of medication. This means that some people with certain mental health problems will be unable to work in certain fields of work, such as high status jobs or jobs with high levels of contact with the public, just as someone who has osteoarthritis will be unable to work in construction. So it is clear from this that mental health is just as important as physical health when regarding work and productivity, which is another reason that we need to make sure that we are looking after our mental health to the best of our ability.
5. Better Financial Stability.
Unfortunately, those of us who are not in work or unable to work full-time for whatever mental or physical reason will not be earning as much money as people who are able to work a 9-5 job, 5 days a week. This is proof that better mental health can bring you better financial stability, which is another important reason to make sure you take care of yourself and seek professional help if you feel that your mental health is deteriorating.
6. Longer Life.
Another key reason that your mental health is just as important as your physical health is because if you are mentally healthy, just like as if you were physically healthy, you are much more likely to lead a longer and happier life. And who doesn’t want to live until they’re 100?! If you maintain and look after your mental health, asking for and seeking help when you need it, you will be able to maintain your physical health which will give you a much higher chance at living until you’re ancient.
7. Better Energy Levels.
It is known that people with bad mental health, just like those who have bad physical health, may experience low energy levels and a constant feeling of fatigue. This often leads to a lack of motivation to get work done, meet friends, exercise and eat healthy meals, which can encourage a downward spiral. So, it is clear that maintaining good mental health is as important as looking after your physical health because neglecting your mental health can cause a serious deterioration in your physical health and well-being.
8. Better Diet And Nutrition.
Another important reason that your mental health is just as important as your physical health is because if you have bad mental health, it can cause you to eat a worse diet than someone who doesn’t suffer with mental health problems because people will some mental health problems may feel less inspired or motivated to cook more healthy meals, or simply may not have the energy to. This can cause a variety of health problems, such as obesity, malnutrition, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease to name a few. So, it is clear that mental health can play a huge role in our diet and nutrition which makes it of equal importance as our physical health.
9. Achieve Your Dreams.
A rather cringey one, but your mental health should be held to the same importance as your physical health because bad mental health can impede upon your dreams and aspirations, just as much as bad physical health can impede upon your goals and what you want to do. So, in order to give yourself the best shot of fulfilling your dreams, it is crucial to look after your mental health. After all, you wouldn’t just leave a broken leg to heal by itself.
10. Happier Life.
In my eyes, the most important and ultimate reason that you should take as much care of your mental health as your physical health is because if you have better mental health, you will live a much happier and more fulfilled life. Isn’t that what we all strive for? So, if you want to live your best and happiest life, it is important not to ignore your mental health and to hold it to the same standard as you would your physical health.
So, there you have the 10 main reasons why your mental health is just as important as your physical health. It is crucial that you hold your mental health to the same standard as you would your physical health, because if either your mental or physical health deteriorate, both will greatly affect your relationships, your ability to function normally on a day to day basis, your financial stability and most of all your happiness. So, it is extremely important to look after your mental health as much as you would your physical health and to seek help when you need it. If you are struggling with your mental health, you can speak to your GP or there are many mental health services available such as the Samaritans or you can find a more specific contact through Mind.org.uk.