Why a Fit Mind Leads to a Better Life
Many things can impact the quality of life for someone. Their employment or lack of, how rewarding their career is, financial problems, relationships, and also their well-being. Physical and mental health both affect a person’s life and the quality of it. Poor physical well-being can lead to health problems and increase the risks of a variety of illnesses and diseases. The same can be said for mental health.
Fit Mind Leads to Health and Happiness
What could be easily overlooked is how important it is to be fit in mind as well as in body. While it is sometimes easy to spot a physical health problem, mental issues can be hidden away from the world but they are no less draining on a person.
Here are some reasons why it is important to have a fit mind to increase a person’s quality of life and how some mental health issues such as trauma can be treated.
Why is a healthy mind important?
Someone who has suffered from a traumatic incident or a long-term series of events can carry those problems for years. Any mental health issue that is untreated or undetected can impair the person suffering from it.
Depression can be debilitating, anxiety disorders can make life impossible and the effects of trauma are far-reaching.
People must understand that help for trauma is available. A person who is affected by trauma can have problems forming relationships or enter into risky and toxic relationships. They can suffer nightmares, sleeping and eating disorders, addiction and consider taking their own lives.
How does physical fitness affect mental well-being?
Although physical activity cannot cure the effects of trauma or other mental health issues there are direct links between exercise and mental well-being.
COVID caused a big impact on mental health and the lockdowns restricted movement. Not only was the fear of infection distressing for many people the lack of freedom caused problems with people’s routines and restricted exercise times.
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to lethargy, bouts of depression, and a feeling of worthlessness.
Reasons why a fit mind leads to an improved quality of life
It is easy to say that mental health leads to a better quality of life but what are the actual reasons for this, and what areas of life does it affect?
People suffering from trauma can find it difficult to make attachments and to form relationships. They are more likely to make poor choices in partners, mirroring perhaps events that they have witnessed in the past from caregivers.
2. Substance Abuse
Someone suffering from mental health problems is more likely to turn to self-medication and form addictions than someone who has been successfully treated. Addiction can cause relationships to fall apart and families to break up.
3. Health issues
A healthy mind can help someone towards a healthy body (and vice versa). Childhood trauma can lead to many health problems in later life including cancer, obesity, and heart problems. Poor physical health can make it hard to work or reduce the mobility of the person affected.
4. Emotional difficulties
Humans have a wide range of emotions that we feel and use to express how we feel about ourselves and others around us.
The problem with emotions is that if someone cannot control theirs it can lead to relationship breakups, dismissal from the workplace, damaged friendships, and even arrest.
Mental health trauma can make it difficult to deal with responsibility and stress and may make it hard to advance in a career. Substance abuse can interfere with work performance leading to dismissal and unemployment.
Emotional and physical ways that the effects of trauma are felt
Above are five areas in life that can be affected by the symptoms of mental health trauma. Below are 5 more ways that a person might feel this in physical and psychological ways:
6. Eating disorders
It is not uncommon for a person with symptoms of trauma to develop an eating disorder. This could be binge eating to increase the feeling of well-being and security or it may manifest in anorexia and bulimia.
Eating disorders can cause many health problems and can ultimately lead to heart or kidney failure and death.
7. Sleeping disorders
Everyone needs rest and a regular amount of sleep to function normally. A healthy mind will allow you to get a good night’s sleep without distraction but someone who has mental health issues can have poor sleep patterns.
They may spend hours awake at night thinking dark, negative thoughts or they may suffer from nightmares.
8. Feelings of fear
Someone who has witnessed a frightening, dangerous incident can have a constant fear of danger. Everyone wants to feel safe and normally people carry out their daily routines without fear of attack or feeling unsafe.
A person suffering the effects of trauma can have a constant fear the event will happen again.
Anyone suffering from depressive episodes knows how crippling this can be to having a normal life. Bouts of depression can lead to someone hiding away from the world for extended periods and at its worst can lead to them taking their own life.
Being free of depression or being able to manage it means living a life with much more promise and possibilities.
Sadly mental health issues can often lead to suicidal thoughts. Depression can bring someone to consider taking their own life. Childhood trauma victims are more likely to take this option and those with good mental health.
Ways to improve your mental fitness
Knowing the terrible effects that trauma can put on a person’s mind you can start to understand why it is just as important to be mentally ‘fit’ as well as physically.
Here are some things you can do to improve your mental well-being:
Exercise is good for the mind
When you exercise you gain a number of benefits. First, your overall fitness will improve but you gain some less physical benefits. Exercise can give a sense of achievement and also release endorphins, and physical activity can improve self-esteem.
Take up a hobby
When you take up a new hobby such as learning an instrument you will help to stimulate the mind. This increases grey matter and can even reverse brain deterioration.
Improve your diet
The food you eat and mental health go hand in hand. Processed, sugary, or fried-foods can affect your mood and increase feelings of lethargy. Brain-friendly foods can make you feel more alert and avoid feeling fatigued.
Use therapy to overcome trauma
Cognitive Behavior Therapy and over forms of treatment can help sufferers of trauma improve their lives. Therapists use art, writing, talking and re-enactment to work through emotions about their traumatic event and then help to turn these negative thoughts into more positive ones.
Listen to music
Listening to or performing music brings pleasure and alters a person’s mood. It can lighten someone’s day and transport someone to a better time. Music is also being used in therapy and to help with patients’ physical recovery. It has even been shown to aid with pain management.
A fit mind leads to improved areas in all aspects of life. Relationships are more likely to survive and prosper, careers can be more rewarding, and even physical health will be improved.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, anxiety, or mental health trauma then there is help available.
Professional therapists can provide a safe environment to work through the traumatic event and lead the person on to a better life.