How Mental Health Can Affect Physical Health

There is so much pressure in the world we live in, to have it all under control, to be on top of things and on top of your game.

 

We admire really successful people, often without thinking about the sacrifices they may have made and the tools they have invested in (motivational coaches, advisers, life coaches and counsellors) to get to where they are. Today there are so many socially acceptable ways to distract ourselves from our uncomfortable feelings.

 

Many people throw themselves into their work, others drink, others watch endless TV or play videogames, all in an effort to keep so busy that they won’t have to think about what they are feeling.  But uncomfortable feelings don’t just disappear.

 

In the world we live in, looking after our bodies and our physical health is much more talked about and accepted than looking after our mental health.  And yet our mental health is so important.  It affects how we cope with day-to-day stress and how we relate to others.

 

When we are in good mental health we are able to feel, identify and express a wide range of emotions, have very clear thoughts and as a result use controlled behaviour to deal with any uncomfortable feelings that might arise as a result of challenges in work, home, sport or intimate relationships. Have you ever had a bad night’s sleep after a bad day, which impacted on your job performance the next day which in turn caused you to feel anxious which in turn affected your sleep the following night?   And so the vicious circle begins.

 

LIVING WITH DIABETES day-in and day-out, with no break, is challenging. How we deal with this challenge can cause us stress.  In turn, stress has a large effect on our physical body. It can cause tiredness, headaches, high blood pressure and can affect our digestive system and in the long-term, persistent stress can lead to serious health problems. But we can arm ourselves with tools to deal with challenges and thereby reduce our stress load.

 

With the professional guidance of a counsellor you can look at the tools you are currently using to manage the challenges in your life and perhaps assess what tools are no longer serving you and find new ones that will.  You don’t have to wait until you are in crisis. Arm yourself with the tools and skills you need today to manage tomorrow’s crisis.  Finding a counsellor to help you through issues to keep your mental health functioning at its best is as important as finding a good doctor to keep you physically healthy.  Just like a car needs a mechanic to keep it serviced and in good running order our mental health needs a check up every now and again too.

 

Elaine Hanlon, Counsellor & Psychotherapist, runs a clinic at Diabetes Ireland  Care Centre. www.elainehanlonpsychotherapy.com

For bookings telephone 01 842 6273 / 087 1046880