Many people are surprised to learn that the diagnoses of depression and anxiety include physical symptoms as well as mental symptoms.
Depression includes psychomotor retardation – which means that your body moves at a slower pace than normal. You might talk slower and not be quick to react.
Anxiety includes feeling restless, easily fatigued, muscle tension, and unsatisfying sleep.
Have you ever noticed if you feel wound up about something, and then try to take some deep breaths to calm down, only then do you realize that you have been holding your shoulders tight all day. Over and over, our mental health symptoms can be expressed in our bodies – on the outside and even on the inside through stress hormones, our immune system, and our gastrointestinal system.
We’ve posted a few times now about self-care. But why is it so important to our mental health? One reason is self-care can help us take care of our bodies and mind. Its helpful to think about our minds in the context of our bodies. When we feel strong emotions, what happens to our physical bodies? You might feel your chest get tighter, your breathing quicken, or your stomach churning. In the same way, when we take care of our bodies by relaxation methods, deep breathing, or eating healthy, we can also help our minds be healthy.
Have you found this applies in your life? What ways have you noticed that your mind and body are connected?