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Nathan Miller: Mental wellness can affect physical health

Nathan Miller • Updated May 16, 2018 at 12:00 PM

While May is regarded as the month set aside to bring awareness to mental health issues, it is also the month that draws attention to the importance of mental wellness. 

Achieving and maintaining a state of sound mental wellness can be a good thing.

Mental wellness not only impacts emotions and moods, but it can also have an affect on a person’s physical health.

While not always the case, depression or emotional stress can sometimes trigger a number of physical health concerns that range from weight gain to higher-than-normal blood pressure readings to symptoms related to an upset stomach or feelings of continually tiredness. 

He advocates that May is a good time to evaluate one’s mental wellness adding that the promise of spring brings opportunities to enjoy sunny days, warm weather, outside activities and just the chance to get yourself in a better state of mind.

The World Health Organization defines mental wellness as a state of wellbeing, in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. 

Some activities that may be useful in helping to promote mental wellness include finding time for yourself for relaxing; developing a new hobby; enjoying a favorite book; setting aside time for a yoga class or walking and hiking or committing to other forms of physical exercise that can stimulate the heart rate; relying on personal friendships to share some of the burdens you may be carrying within; eating foods that provide nutritional value to help you function physically and mentally; and most importantly is making sure you are getting a sufficient amount of rest and sleep. 

For more information about mental illness, visit vbhcs.org, call toll free 877-567-6051. 

Nathan Miller is director of Cumberland Mental Health, an agency of Volunteer Behavioral Health. VBH is the parent nonprofit organization that oversees mental health centers that provide services in 31 counties across Middle and Southeast Tennessee and the Upper Cumberland Region.

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