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Your Mind and Body are Connected

Your Mind and Body are Connected

Have you heard of an idea known as “mind-body dualism”? It is a philosophical concept that posits that our minds and our bodies are fundamentally distinct substances. In other words, a person arguing for mind-body dualism would be suggesting that your mind is completely different from your body. You can see how a thinker might arrive at such a conclusion. After all, your thoughts seem mighty different from, say, your arms. And your emotions may seem to have nothing in common with, say, your knees. 

But when the topic is mental health, we might argue that the idea of mind-body dualism does not entirely hold up to scrutiny. We would make that argument because there is a clear connection between your mental health and your physical health. When you are taking care of your physical health, you are also taking care of your mental health. 

Let’s look at three ways to support both kinds of well-being. 

Exercise Regularly

For every person you can name who loves to exercise, you can probably name two (or more!) who do not like it at all. Maybe you yourself fall into that second group. But love it or hate it, regular exercise benefits both your physical and mental health.

If you are not in the habit of exercising, you will want to start small—but the important thing is that you start. Add a 10-minute walk to your lunch break. Ride your bike (or a stationary bike) for 30 minutes in a low intensity gear. Sign up for a beginner’s yoga class or find some introductory videos online.

When you add exercise to your routine, you will be providing significant and ongoing benefits to your body and your mind.

Eat Healthily

You have probably heard the old cliché, “you are what you eat.” It is true in at least one important sense. If you fill your body with unhealthy food, you will be unhealthy in both the body and the mind. Fortunately, the reverse is also true. If you fill your body with healthy food, you will be healthy in both the body and the mind.

There is, of course, more than one way to eat healthily. You can reduce your sugar intake. You could pursue a meat-free diet. You can lean toward whole foods rather than heavily processed products. You could do some or all of those things—and plenty of others—in combination. 

You don’t have to give up every food you enjoy to make significant progress toward a healthier approach to eating. We would suggest that each and every time you make a healthier choice regarding food, you are working toward better physical and mental health. 

Sleep Restfully

An awful lot of us—maybe including you—treat getting enough sleep in a rather haphazard way. We stay up too late (often because we are doomscrolling). We toss and turn as our worries compete for our attention. And we try to make up our sleep deficit with the help of significant amounts of caffeine—which can make it harder to sleep when we finally drop into bed at the end of another day.

That approach (if it can even be called an approach) does not serve your body or your mind well. There are plenty of ways to improve the quality of your rest—including turning off the screens a couple of hours before bedtime, limiting caffeine consumption, setting a regular bedtime (and waking time), ensuring your sleeping space is uncluttered, cool, and dark, and finding a helpful wind-down activity (like journaling or stretching or listening to quiet music) that helps you get ready for sleep.

Sleep is a lynchpin of physical and mental health, so creating a regular routine is a wonderful way to reap a host of benefits. Finding a way to prioritize sleep is a wonderful way to prioritize your ongoing healthfulness. 

We Won’t Mind if You Bring Your Body Here

At Peak View Behavioral Health—located in Colorado Springs, Colorado—we provide personalized care for a whole range of mental health disorders. If you are struggling with one of the many kinds of depression, with a panic or anxiety disorder, or with a disorder centered on past traumatic experiences, we can help. We are committed to listening carefully so that we can create a treatment plan that addresses your specific needs. And each treatment plan is grounded in our years of experience, our education and expertise, and our spirit of empathy. If you are ready to make a change that will upgrade your overall quality of life, we are ready to help you improve your mental health and maintain those improvements over time.

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About programs offered at Peak View Behavioral Health

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