Mental Health and Pain:
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is the ability to handle stressors, relate to others and make choices in healthy ways. It is multifaceted which includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health can be affected by intrinsic or extrinsic factors and can change throughout the lifetime. It can greatly affect mood, thinking and behavior. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 adults live with a mental illness. Mental Health can inflnuence and be inflnuenced by physical health.
How does mental health relate to pain?
Living with pain, especially chronic pain can be both emotionally and physically stressful. Chronic pain (any pain that lasts longer that 3-6 months) has been proven to change stress hormones which can affect mood, thoughts, and behavior. This level of pain has been linked to increased rates of anxiety and depression as well decreased quality of life and activity limitations.
How can a healthy lifestyle improve mental health?
As previously discussed, mental health is very complex, but living a healthy lifestyle may prevent mental health conditions from developing or progressing. Here are some tips for heathy living with mental health challenges:
- Be active – Exercise helps to boost mood and improve overall health.
- Get enough sleep – Stick to a schedule and prioritize sleep.
- Stay consistent with a treatment plan – Work with a primary care provider to manage the condition.
- Practice good self-care – Focus on things that bring joy and manage anything that may trigger.
- Stay connected – Keep in contact with family and friends who can provide support and help.
- Cope with stress – Practice gratitude, deep breathing, yoga, meditation, tai chi to decrease stress.
- Seek professional help – For any distressing symptoms lasting 2 weeks or greater.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.