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Ronald R. Fieve, M.D, PC

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Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
• What can I do to improve mental/physical health?
    [3 tips for each]

• Conclusion: Consultation with Dr. Fieve

When considering bodily health, it is imperative to consider both mental and physical health, as one cannot be whole without the other. There have always been anecdotal evidence and old wives’ tales around the connection of the body and the mind, and there have also been hundreds of studies over the years that have proven the interconnectivity of physical and mental health.

There is constant evidence of the effect that physical and mental health have on each other. One such example is working out to relieve mental stress, another is stress-induced physical ailments, such as heart problems or acid reflux. Some of the recent studies around this connection have clearly distinguished the links between the mind and the body’s health. For example, in this study conducted by the Bangor University, a clear correlation was established between mentally fatiguing tasks and physical exhaustion. In another, poor anger management was shown to increase the risk for future heart problems by a huge factor of ten times the risk of those without anger problems. Children are also particularly affected by mental health. Child abuse has been shown to cause alterations within the brain, especially at an early age, and children with anxiety problems have had a lessening of their anxiety symptoms by treating their balance problems.

There are many ways to improve both physical and mental health, but many people make the mistake of focusing on one without considering the other. To attain true well being, it is important to consider a well rounded approach.

To improve mental health, try the following:

  • Find positive ways to release negative emotions, such as anger, fear, or frustration, rather than bottling it up inside. Good communication can end problems before they begin, and learning to forgive can help release the burden of carrying around a grudge.
  • Giving back to the community can be extremely rewarding, as well as a boost to the self-esteem. There are many ways to give back, through volunteering time, resources, or expertise.
  • As great as giving can be, it is also important to ask for help when necessary. Finding a good support system for times of need can resolve issues and relieve stress, even if the support is in just knowing someone is listening. As they say, a burden shared is a burden halved.

There are also many ways to improve physical health, including:

  • Getting a good night’s sleep every night. Sleep is vital to allow the body and the mind to rest and repair itself.
  • Eating healthy foods will help your body receive the nutrients and vitamins it needs to function optimally, while limiting intake of junk foods.
  • Even just 30 minutes a day of physical activity has been shown to have numerous health benefits. Any activity that gets you moving, such as biking, walking, or roller blading reduces your risk for many chronic diseases and adds years to your life.

If you would like to discuss further ways of improving your mental health, please contact the NYC Prieve Depression center for a consultation with one of our experienced practitioners.

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Dr. Fieve's Books

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