St. George Village Blog
Exploring the Connection Between Mental and Physical Health
Posted on September 21, 2012 by Stacy Anthony
Staying active, both physically and mentally, is an important key to overall health. It also affects how long we live.
The mind-body connection plays a crucial role in overall health, particularly that of seniors. Mind-body communication is predictive of how well we age. Although genetics account for part of the aging process, there are still some strategies we can use to improve health, stamina and vitality.
One of our biggest enemies as we age is stagnation. Lack of interest in learning new things, resisting new experiences and a lack of social support and close friendships are linked with physical decline. From time to time, of course, everyone experiences a loss of enthusiasm for novelty or enrichment, but if we allow that to continue, it can have negative affects. By staying actively engaged with life, we can protect the healthy connection between mind and body.
Stress is an additional enemy to our minds and bodies as we age. Finding ways to reduce stress is important in preventing illness. Here are some suggestions that you can easily incorporate into your life to reduce stress:
• Encourage yourself to be social a few times a week even if you don’t feel like it.
• Spend some time each day engaging in an activity that interests you.
• Join a book club. Read, or if your eyes are tired, listen to books on audio. Consider asking a group of friends to get together each week to listen to a great audio book.
• Spend time outdoors and appreciate nature as often as possible.
One great way to maintain a healthy mind-body connection is to experience new things. Try a new hobby, make new friends or volunteer to help with an event or organization that interests you. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy a certain experience or decide that it’s not a long-term interest, you will still be enriched by your participation.
By staying active and engaging in new experiences, you are increasing your chances for mental and physical well-being.