Mental health and physical health are often put into two separate categories. We understand that they’re both important, but we isolate the two topics without understanding the overlap that they have and the effects they can have on each other. When our physical health is suffering, our mental health can also suffer. And in the same way, when our mental health is suffering, our physical health can suffer as well.
When we talk about how to analyze our mental health, it can be easy to jump to the conclusion that all we need to do is pay attention to our feelings and emotions. However, while this is definitely important, we also can’t forget to pay attention to our physical bodies as well. Physical symptoms are our body’s way of signaling to us that something is wrong and that we need to pay attention to it!
One example of this is in our energy levels. If we’re in a constant state of tiredness, this might be an indicator that we’re experiencing burnout. This is a way that our body is telling us to slow down because it’s exhausted! And the more and more we ignore these physical indicators, the more and more our bodies are going to get frustrated and continue to exhibit this symptom of tiredness.
Another example is jaw clenching (or muscle clenching in general). This is one way that our body exhibits stress or anxiety. Jaw and muscle clenching isn’t present in all individuals with anxiety, but it is very common and a lot of people don’t even know they’re doing it. Again, this is our body’s way of telling us to pay attention.
There are numerous other ways that our physical bodies exhibit mental health struggles, and becoming more aware of these things can allow us to start paying attention to our bodies and what they’re trying to tell us.