Although it can be a struggle at times, people have a responsibility to take care of their bodies by eating right, getting enough sleep, and more. To achieve optimum health and wellness, and encourage the body to function at its best, people should improve their physical wellness.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health in a way that recognizes that wellness is more than not having a disease or sickness.
Social, physical, and mental health are dimensions of wellness, which is crucial because research demonstrates an association between good physical health and mental health.
Consulting a mental health professional can help you implement and commit to healthy behavior changes. Everyone can benefit from receiving mental healthcare, even if they haven’t been diagnosed with a mental illness since everyone experiences mental health challenges at some point.
Physical wellness components
There are many components of physical wellness to prioritize, such as:
- Nutrition: Adhering to a well-balanced diet, consisting of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, vitamin D, and more, provides the body with the nutrients and vitamins it needs. Consuming clean foods and ingredients and refraining from drug and alcohol consumption can improve wellness. Research studies demonstrate the importance of high-quality nutrition and a healthy diet in enhancing mental health.
- Exercise: Physical activity positively impacts mood and mental health. Regular exercise can help ward off and lessen the symptoms of mental disorders. Working or going to school from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic can cause a sedentary lifestyle that can harm one’s physical health. Sitting for extended periods is associated with conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol, and more. Physical activity lessens the risk of diseases, enhances energy levels, and contributes to weight regulation and bone and muscle strengthening.
- Sleep: Research studies demonstrate the association between poor sleep and mental health problems and mental illness. Getting enough sleep impacts the mind and body’s functioning, as we require adequate sleep for rejuvenation. Sleeping well can offer protection against illness, and increase concentration.
Mental health and physical wellness
Per statistical data from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness per year. One in 25 adults in the United States experiences serious mental illness per year. One in six young people in the United States between the ages of six and 17 experience a mental disorder each year (National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI).
These statistics are helpful to note, and it’s also crucial to remember that everyone has mental health, just like physical health. The takeaway message: every person is likely to experience mental health challenges at some point.
Research findings support the fact that improving physical health and well-being can positively impact mental health problems and improve mental disorders such as:
Physical wellness can enhance the life quality of people who have severe mental health conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
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How to improve physical wellness
Taking action in the ways listed below can help people achieve excellent physical wellness:
- Make regular visits to a healthcare professional: Routine visits to a primary care physician for the status of your heart rate, cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight can help you stay healthy and follow a health plan that encourages wellness.
- Exercise: Doing daily physical or training activities for at least 150 minutes per week can enhance wellness and increase one’s heart rate and cardiovascular health.
- Sleep: Following a regular sleep schedule helps the body adjust to the pattern. Recommended amounts of sleep are seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
- Follow a schedule: Schedule dedicated exercise time to ensure they get a chance to be physically active.
- Socializing: Having the support of family members and friends and supporting a loved one in their health improvement goals and behavior changes can benefit physical and mental health. People can join online and community support groups as well. Communicating with like-minded individuals who may experience a similar mental health crisis or the same mental disorders can be helpful.
- Therapy: Regular therapy can help people establish pro-wellness habits and health behaviors and address and manage adverse thoughts or beliefs that can impair health. Speaking to a therapist alone or in group settings can be beneficial in dealing with mental health challenges.
Types of therapy to consider for physical wellness enhancement
Licensed therapists use various therapeutic modalities to manage physical and mental health challenges and mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders that impact wellness. Therapists and clients collaborate to determine the best therapy type that works. Conventional therapy types include:
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy
- Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Holistic Therapy
- Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT)
How to find the right therapist for physical wellness
Some factors to consider when selecting a mental health professional include:
Education and training
It’s crucial to search for mental health professionals with current licenses, specialized training, and experience to handle physical health challenges and psychiatric disorders. WithTherapy can connect users to licensed mental healthcare providers experienced in treating adolescents, young people, and adults across the lifespan facing wellness concerns and the symptoms and onset of mental disorders like depression, anxiety disorders, and other psychiatric disorders.
Therapists made accessible through WithTherapy go through a thorough vetting process to ensure they have the education, professional development, and expertise to successfully handle clients’ concerns.
Feeling comfortable with a therapist and trusting them is critical. Establishing an excellent client-therapist rapport can have a positive impact on the efficacy of therapy. WithTherapy optimizes people’s searches for therapists who have the right personal fit.
Speak to several therapists if you’re unsure
Having preliminary conversations with prospective therapists can help you determine if they are the best fit for you. It can be helpful to ask therapists about:
- Their experience and qualifications treating young and older adults on wellness journeys
- The therapies they subscribe to in their practice and suggest (e.g., psychodynamic psychotherapy, holistic therapy, motivational interviewing, online therapy) and what they entail
- Any training they’re currently undergoing
- How much therapy costs
If you’re feeling unsure, speaking to more than one prospective therapist can help you make the best decision that suits you and your needs.