Our psychological well-being is one of the most critical aspects of our physical health. A complex interplay between our mental, emotional, and physical health can impact our overall well-being.
When our psychological well-being is in balance, it can positively influence our physical healing. We may be able to better cope with physical pain, and our bodies may be more resilient when faced with illness or injury. When our psychological well-being is out of balance, it can harm our physical healing, making it harder to recover from injury or illness or manage chronic pain.
It is essential to understand the importance of psychological well-being and how it can influence our physical healing.
What is psychological well-being?
This is a state of balance and harmony in our lives. Our ability to cope with stress, our outlook on life, and our ability to handle life’s inevitable ups and downs all contribute to our psychological well-being.
The link between psychological well-being and physical healing
Physical health and psychological well-being are closely linked. This is why they are often referred to as our “total health.” They are interrelated, interdependent parts of who we are.
Both aspects of our health affect the other; when one is out of balance, this can harm the other. When stress is high, our bodies produce the hormone cortisol, which affects our mental health and can also impact our immune system.
According to several studies, less stressed individuals have a lower risk of developing chronic illness. The same can be said for our ability to recover from disease or injury. When stress is high, we may not have the energy or resilience needed to recover fully.
Benefits of psychological well-being for physical health
Chronic pain, injury, and illness can strain our ability to cope and can be very stressful. When our psychological well-being is in balance, we are more resilient in dealing with the challenges of chronic pain. It can also help us make better self-care choices, reducing the impact of chronic pain.
A healthy psychological outlook can positively affect our mental health and, therefore, our total health. When our psychological well-being is balanced, we are more likely to have a positive outlook on life. This can positively affect our mental health, which in turn affects our total health.
The ability to reduce the impact of stress on our physical health may also positively affect our immune system. When we manage our stress, we may have a more robust immune system.
How to maintain psychological wellbeing
- Fitness – Physical activity is a great way to boost our psychological well-being. Exercise can help reduce both stress and anxiety, as well as improve our mood.
- Meditation – Many people find meditation an effective way to manage stress. Many different types of meditation can be adapted to suit an individual’s needs.
- Diet – Eating a balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals, can help us maintain our psychological well-being.
- Sleep – Getting enough sleep can help us be more resilient to stress.
- Social support – Having strong social connections, and feeling supported by our loved ones, can help us cope with stress. Having a trusted friend or confidante to whom we can talk can help us reduce our stress levels.
The role of a mental health professional in physical healing
A mental health professional can help us address any issues that may negatively impact our psychological well-being. Working with a therapist can help us to understand the impact of our thoughts and emotions and how this affects our physical health.
While each person has unique needs, there are some common approaches that therapists use to help their clients improve their psychological well-being. Some techniques a mental health professional may use include:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – A therapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and behavior. CBT can help us identify and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviors that may negatively impact our psychological well-being.
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – As the name suggests, this therapy is based on the principles of mindfulness. This therapy can help us reduce our stress by observing our thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental way.
The importance of stress management for physical healing
Stress has a significant impact on our physical health, as well as our psychological well-being. Managing our stress is crucial to maintaining psychological well-being and, therefore, positively affects our physical health.
When we are stressed, the hormone cortisol is released. Being able to manage our stress can help us to reduce the amount of cortisol in our bodies. Less cortisol in our bodies can positively impact our mental and physical health.
When we are under stress, our immune system is negatively affected; it is less effective at fighting illness and healing from injury. This can make us more susceptible to infection, eg: a simple seborrheic dermatitis ear turning into a full-blown infection, and slow our recovery from injury or illness. Managing our stress helps us reduce the negative impact of stress on our physical health.
The impact of lifestyle choices on physical healing
Our psychological well-being and physical health are closely linked. This means that improving our psychological well-being can positively affect our physical health. Poor lifestyle choices can negatively impact our psychological well-being. This can harm our physical health. Making healthy lifestyle choices can boost both our psychological well-being and physical health.
Finally: When to seek professional help for physical healing
There are many ways to boost your psychological well-being, but you may have difficulty making changes. If you struggle to improve your psychological well-being, it may be time to seek professional help.
When you are experiencing a significant amount of stress, or if you’re feeling depressed or anxious, you should seek professional help. If your anxiety is negatively impacting your physical health, or if you are struggling to cope with stress, it can be helpful to seek professional support.
When you are experiencing high-stress levels, you may find it more challenging to reduce your stress. This can lead to what is known as a “feedback loop.” In this situation, stress leads to more stress leads to more stress. This can become a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. Finding a way to break the feedback loop can be helpful. Asking for help, whether from a friend, family member, or professional, is the best way to break the cycle.