For years mental health and physical health have been treated differently. Our society has struggled to understand the importance of mental health and the impact it has on our body. We are flooded with images of weight loss on social media and ways to get in shape, but rarely is it explained to us that our health and wellness is not decided on weight and exercise alone. Over the last decade, the stigma of mental health and its importance has shifted; however, we still have a ways to go. Our mindset has got to be that just like taking care of ourselves physically we need to keep our mental health in check as well.
Fortunately, more and more therapists and doctors alike are in agreement with a whole body approach- mind, body, and soul. This model becomes inclusive of the multiple aspects of a human beings health and wellness. How is this model different? The whole body approach takes into account the importance of the mind and emotions and the tools we intrinsically have to manage and treat dis-ease. For example, the use of breath work, can help reduce tension and stress, increase relaxation as well as manage symptoms of anxiety. Breathing techniques are accessible to all of us and with the combination of other treatment and management tools can reduce the need for prescription drug interventions.
Why is this important? Researchers are stating that chronic diseases increase chances for depression, but depression can also increase the chances of chronic diseases. The way we feel about our lifestyle, our choices, and ourselves, it all impacts our health. The way we manage our everyday stress impacts us in the long-term and can be just as important of a factor in chronic disease prevention. Fortunately, what a doctor would prescribe for physical wellness a psychotherapist would prescribe for mental wellness. Some cross-over recommendations may include: exercise, yoga, eating right, and sleep management. We, at PALM + PINE, would go a step further and invite you to slow down when you are eating not just to notice when you are full, but to notice what you are tasting. Savor the flavors and take notice of where your food came from to make conscious decisions in what you put in your body. Be mindful in your exercising – does your body feel pain when running 10 miles? Could it get a similar benefit from yoga or walking? By taking a mindful, whole body approach, you can enhance your physical health with the added benefit of taking care of your mental health. So we invite you to join us and invest in whole body health; seek to strengthen body and mind, so we are capable of enjoying our experience of life and rising to the challenges that it puts in front of us.