What should I do when my mental health starts affecting my physical health? — R Voice

What should I do when my mental health starts affecting my physical health?

Jayashree Rajagopalan
Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 225 admin

A question for @Stefano Zucca - A lot of times, continued experience of stress begins to affect physical well-being or physical health. What are your thoughts on this? And what should researchers do when this begins to happen? What kind of help or support should they seek? Any advice on this?

Answers

  • Stefano Zucca
    Stefano Zucca Member Posts: 4

    Our body is really amazing, sometimes much better than our mind. Our body is able to tell us when we are reaching the limit even if we haven't realized it.

    Listening to what our body is telling us is fundamental. There are many different psychosomatic illensses which are strongly linked to our stress levels. Some doctors are actually trained to provide psychological support or to guide you through different options you can explore.

    First step if you feel physically ill is to check with a professional doctor and try to understand if the source of it is related to the ongoing stress. If so, ask them for advice or start setting boundaries at your workplace. Ask for professional support at your university (if they provide one) and start working on understanding how many stressors you are facing and what are the strategies to deal with them.

    Use your physical status as a check that you are actually improving your mental health and not just your physical health!

  • Gustavo Arluna
    Gustavo Arluna Member Posts: 120 ✭✭✭

    @Jayashree Rajagopalan what an interesting question! And @Stefano Zucca answer is really helpful, so thank you Stefano.

    I am dealing with this stress, so I just can tell about my own experience. I did what Stefano said, I've checked my physical status (it was OK) and then seek for professionals in mental health.

    My conclusions about what I need to change and improve for dealing with stress (it might be different for others): having a good and balanced diet, doing some exercise (at least 30 min), avoiding overweight, meditation, organizing my priorities, having a quality disconnection time from obligations (a hobby may work), sleeping well, drinking more water and less caffeine, exposition to open spaces with nature and sun when possible. That's what is working for me. Many known things that I wasn't doing well.

    Unfortunately, sometimes we don't appreciate the beauty of life until we got ill. Life is more than working, getting angry with someone or being on time on a meeting. If we train our mind for filtering the unimportant things and keeping focus on important things like health, family, etc., we will be able to enjoy life more.

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 581 admin
    edited November 15

    This is such an insightful thread! Great question @Jayashree Rajagopalan!

    I can fully relate to what Stefano said here - "Our body is really amazing, sometimes much better than our mind. Our body is able to tell us when we are reaching the limit even if we haven't realized it."

    Just last Friday, I was feeling extremely tired and drained. I felt like I didn't have much energy to continue working, even though my to-do list had many unchecked tasks. I also had a headache because of poor sleep, not eating meals on time, and long meetings that week. Still, I thought I could power through and get "just one last thing done". I was wrong and eventually, listening to my body was fundamental to me feeling better. I stopped immediately, and did something else. I went for a walk and watched a show. It's taken me the entire weekend to recover from last week, and I'm glad that I listened to my body and took some much needed down time. :)

    I'm sharing this so that someone else who's experiencing something similar this week, won't feel like they're alone. Hopefully, you can take a break too 🙂