Let’s say that you have been having a hard week at school, you have been stressed about a lot of things and a wave of anxiety suddenly hits you. At the same time, you are also having a stomachache or even a headache and you start to feel fatigued most of the time.
Is it just hard luck? Or are these problems interconnected?
Mental health affects your brain, but it’s not limited to that: poor mental health negatively affects your physical health too. People with mental illnesses can experience a range of physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, pain, headaches, insomnia, and restlessness.
These physical symptoms can be really frustrating and a huge discomfort; and when we don’t know how common they are or the fact that they are linked to our mental health, it can leave us feeling lonely at times. Many people also believe that psychosomatic symptoms – physical symptoms caused by mental health issues aren’t real
Our body has two stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline; they increases heart rate and blood pressure, suppresses the digestive system, and affects the immune system. While a certain amount of stress and anxiety can generate the physical energy to complete many daily tasks, it’s different when you are under constant stress.
A state of constant stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on your body. Constant stress means your adrenaline and cortisol levels are always high and you will seldom be returning to a rest state. This can have a negative toll on your organs and bodily functions. What’s worse is that stress and anxiety lower your pain tolerance levels.
The best way to deal with these symptoms is to be aware that it’s your mental health that is causing them. Most of the time, these symptoms are never thought of as something that could be related to our minds and does not get enough attention. It’s important to recognize these symptoms and find ways that help you destress and relax, and if that doesn’t work it’s always better to ask for help.
The physical effects our mental health has on our bodies are very much real; and when these connections all come together, they influence the way we feel and the thoughts we have. However, discussing these physical symptoms more openly and being aware of their cause, can help us find some help and normalize them while mentioning mental health. Excessive sweating, headaches, stomachache are not what we signed up for, and that’s alright.