Are you taking care of your body by taking care of your mind?

Everyone knows that you need to take good care of your body. You need to eat right and exercise to make sure that you are healthy. However, fewer people know that you need to take care of your mind to make sure your body stays healthy.

For a very long time, the prevalent idea was that the mind and the body were two separate entities. However, we now know very well that mind and body are interconnected. Our emotional and psychological health influences our physical health significantly. What does this mean?

Firstly, if are constantly bored, sad, angry, frustrated, anxious, and so on, it’s more difficult for us to stay healthy. Our immune system doesn’t work as well, and other systems in our body, like the cardiovascular system and the digestive system, also begin to work less effectively. A good example here is that people who are in bad job environments tend to get sick more frequently and report more headaches, colds, aches, and fatigue. When we are unhappy most of the time, it becomes more difficult for us to stay physically healthy.

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What does this mean? It means that in order to take care of our body, we also need to take care of our mind. On level, this means doing many of the same things: good nutrition, sleep, exercise, and other practices will help us be happier. But we also need to be careful with our mental and emotional states. Taking care of our minds means allowing ourselves to relax, asking ourselves if we feel happy and satisfied, finding ways to leave bad situations, not forcing ourselves into activities and environments we don’t want to be in… it means practicing self-compassion and listening to ourselves.

When we work to take care of our bodies, it doesn’t just mean we should work out and eat vegetables. It also means we need to work to be happy and to improve our thinking. Just like learning new workout routines, we can also learn to think in compassionate ways and take care of our mind as well as our body. Taking care of our mind also means working with it and making it sharper by using different strategies.