How Poor Mental Health Affects Your Body: What You Need to Know

Your mental health affects more than your general life perspective, thoughts, and everyday emotions. It also affects other areas of your body and overall health, which is why it’s important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of poor mental well-being. 

Unfortunately, however, the signs and symptoms are oftentimes overlooked as they are commonly mistaken for another normalized wellness issue in today’s society. Everything from blemishes to body aches, can all be tied back to your mental health. That’s why it’s essential that you learn about the different forms it can take so that you can properly treat these issues and ultimately, improve your mind-body relationship. 

Let’s take a closer look at the connection between poor mental health and your body as well as what actionable steps you can take to deal with the signs and symptoms you may be experiencing.

HOW CAN POOR MENTAL HEALTH AFFECT YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH?

Bumps and Blemishes

As previously mentioned, acne breakouts are a common sign of poor mental health. However, this skincare concern can also develop for a multitude of other reasons, which is why many are reluctant to dive deeper into this condition. The appearance of bumps and blemishes that come from poor mental health usually arises on account of high stress levels, as this bodily experience leads to an increase in cortisol levels, which naturally causes excess sebum production. As a result, the excess sebum—the fancy term for the oil in your body—makes it more difficult to keep skin clear as it generally tends to clog pores and therefore, causes breakouts. 

Luckily, managing stress acne can be simple with the right skincare supplies. If you’re struggling with this condition, consider investing in a few acne treatment products that are specifically designed to target your bumps and blemishes and prevent them from occurring in the future. 

Along with this, you should also try and make more of an effort to de-stress by performing mindfulness activities that support relaxation and inner peace. Breathing exercises, guided meditation, and stretching are all great mindfulness techniques, but don’t be afraid to get creative with this process and have fun with it!

IRREGULAR MENSTRUAL CYCLES

It’s no secret that our hormones fluctuate throughout our cycle, and most women experience at least one of the following period menstrual symptoms (PMS) in the weeks leading up to their cycle: cramping, irritability, body aches, bloating, etc. While this minor discomfort is normally experienced across the board, those with poor mental health may be familiar with another more severe discomfort, also known as premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD)

According to research, three to five percent of menstruating women struggle with this condition and battle one of the following mental health issues: sadness or hopelessness, anxiety or depression, extreme moodiness, and/or severe irritability or anger. Although the exact reasoning for the development of PMS or PMDD remains unclear, most experts believe that the answer is related to the hormone fluctuations that correspond to your menstrual cycle. 

Still, evidence supported by the Cleveland Clinic has noted an underlying connection between serotonin levels and PMDD, which helps to explain how poor mental health can influence the development of this disorder. And while there is no exact “cure” for this issue, taking actionable steps to increase serotonin levels may help to alleviate the severity of discomfort. Basic activities like exercise, for example, works to enhance serotonin levels naturally, allowing you to not only look good but feel good too.

SOCIAL WITHDRAWAL 

If you’re like most people, you probably prefer to be alone when you’re not feeling like yourself. But what happens when you’re not feeling like yourself for a few consecutive weeks? Do you continue to shelter yourself off? If the answer is yes, it’s likely that poor mental health is causing you to socially withdraw. 

Social withdrawal happens when you remove yourself from your peers and public gatherings, and instead, self-isolate. Usually, self-isolation is a sign of another mental health issue such as depression, anxiety, or detachment, and continuation of this may worsen the issue. So if you find that you’re secluding yourself from your loved ones and/or social outings for an extended period of time, you may be dealing with something more problematic than just your average “bad day.”

In this case, it’s in your best interest to talk to someone, as ironic as that may sound. Mental health counseling has become a popular area of healthcare, especially in these trying times, meaning seeking treatment from a professional has become much easier than ever before. Whether it be an in-person session or through an online platform like this one here, getting help from a certified therapist or social worker can be simple. Even though you may be reluctant to do so at first, doing so is arguably the most effective way to get you out of your “funk” and improve your mental health, so don’t be afraid to reach out when you need it. Remember, you’re not meant to take on this journey alone.

CONCLUSION

Poor mental health can feel like a burden. If you, or someone you know appears to be struggling internally, be sure to look for the signs listed above and take action when needed. There are endless ways to get your well-being back on track, but at the end of the day, it’s on you to take the positive steps necessary to get you there. 

Remind yourself that these internal struggles do not define who you are or where you are going, and that there are resources and people out there that you can lean on for help and reassurance. Don’t wait until it’s too late! For more information on mental health treatment options, check out this page.

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