Nothing Is More Important Than Your Mental Health
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Health and Wellness

I Don’t Care What Anyone Says, Nothing Is More Important Than Your Mental Health

Take. Care. Of. Your. Mind.


People have always advocated for physical health and taking care of our bodies. I constantly see ads for diets, exercise plans, and just a general emphasis for keeping your body healthy. It is only recently that mental health specifically became a hot topic in public discourse. This may be due to the fact that about 1 in 5 adults today struggle with some sort of mental illness, or it may be due to the decreased stigmatization of mental illness that comes with the open-mindedness of new generations. Regardless of the reason for its newfound popularity, the importance of taking care of your mental health cannot be understated.

The most prevalent struggle I have observed in people of various ages is stress. Whether work-related, family-related, or relationship-related, stress affects us negatively and can become a mental illness over time. Stress is the body's reaction to situations in which it feels threatened. The defense mechanism that follows is a chemical process more commonly known as the "fight or flight" reaction (or stress response). It is your body's way of preparing you to either face or escape the impending threat. In small doses, this reaction is helpful because it can prevent you from getting hurt, push you to complete tasks, and help you to get through certain life situations. However, chronic, intense stress can have the opposite effect.

Although some might say that stress is all in your mind, there are plenty of ways it impacts your physical health. Some side effects of stress include but are not limited to: low energy, headaches, easy irritability, insomnia, low self-esteem, dry mouth and difficulty swallowing, forgetfulness, nausea, and frequent colds or infections. It can lead to poor performance in work and at school as well as a general decrease in happiness and enjoyment of fun activities. Stress is debilitating on the body and yet few people realize that it is an issue that can and should be addressed.

Despite the negative effects, there are ways to handle and prevent stress. Mental and physical health often intersect. Eating healthier provides your body with the nutrients it needs to stay at peak function. Exercise pumps endorphins through your brain, which improves mood immensely and increases the quality of sleep at night. Staying on a regular sleep schedule sets your circadian rhythm to a regular schedule, meaning your body can focus its efforts on other tasks. Mental ways of relieving stress include meditation and purposefully setting time aside to relax. Different things are relaxing to different people (for example, I relax by writing or watching Netflix in bed whereas my brother relaxes by playing guitar). Find out ways that you can relax and set aside time to do so.

Mental health is extremely important. Life is too important to be wasted on stress. Granted, I know that taking care of your body and mind is sometimes difficult, but the physical and mental relief pays out in the end. Just remembering to get enough sleep, eating healthy, and making time to relax will boost your mood and relieve/prevent stress from negatively affecting your daily life. If it comes to a choice between work or getting a decent amount of sleep (for example), put sleep first. When you take care of your mind and body, they take care of you. Take care of your mental health and I promise you will not live to regret it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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