How important is improving your mental health in order to improve your physical health?

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to improve my mental health! I am wondering what y’all think!

How important is improving your mental health in order to improve your physical health? 43 votes

10/10, so important!
95% 41 votes
5/10, it’s important but not as important as other things.
4% 2 votes
1/10, no not really…
0% 0 votes


  • ceschmidt26
    ceschmidt26 Posts: 3 Member
    edited January 2022
    If you have time, please leave a comment below explaining what has been most important in your journey to reaching your goals. I’m really interested in finding out what everybody’s game changers are! Thank you so much for voting!!!
  • jo_nz
    jo_nz Posts: 548 Member
    I do think it's very important, but all so interrelated.
    When I was mentally feeling my worst, I was eating for convenience because I had no energy to cook or plan anything. If I managed to do some exercise, I ended up feeling exhausted and even more depressed. I was sleeping badly and my anxiety levels were high. I was overweight and miserable.

    For me, what turned it around was going to my doctor and getting a prescription that helped with anxiety, sleep and prevention of migraines (which were also getting worse and worse).
    Getting good sleep helped me so much.
  • mowu
    mowu Posts: 245 Member
    edited January 2022
    I think it varies from person to person.....for me it is the other way around. One of the big factors for me when trying to improve my mental health is good physical health or rather making sure I eat well and get exercise.

    If I neglect my physical health - typically because day-to-day I am too busy to focus on it - it will at some point affect my mental health in the way that I have less energy, is more prone to stressing and in general am more susceptible to negative thought patterns.

    And then the cycle starts because the mental state makes it easier to choose the unhealthy comfort foods and decide that "today I do not have the energy to exercise".

    So when I focus on improving my physical health, the mental health more or less automatically improves with it - at least thats how it is for me.
  • ceschmidt26
    ceschmidt26 Posts: 3 Member
    Wow! Thank you all so much!!! I love this feedback, it’s all super helpful. I’m changing my lifestyle and it’s nice to hear what works for everyone.
  • Deviette
    Deviette Posts: 978 Member
    For me, whenever my mental health takes a hit, my physical heath always fall by the wayside. When my mental health is good I eat sensible portions, I get out for my daily walks, I sleep better (meaning I am less hungry overall), I keep my house cleaner (meaning I have less allergy related issues). Conversely when my mental health is rubbish, I do the opposite of all of these. I barely have the mental energy to actually look after myself and so my physical health goes to pot.

    But as a general I also find that physical health is really important to my mental health. If I don't exercise or eat sensibly then my mental health really suffers. More so than I realised for a long time.
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,724 Member
    Ya know, I voted 10/10; it was my first reaction. But I truly feel both are just as important, going hand in hand as was mentioned. I have to experience a little bit of success with binge-eating control before my mind can get to a stronger place and feel or stay committed to any kind of healthier eating lifestyle. BUT I have to feel a little bit positive that I can do this in order to take that step.

    I do know that when my eating gets out of control, my whole mental health and self-esteem flies out the window. Then it feels next to impossible to ever find my way back. :( I have a definite binge-eating problem, always have had, just cannot fill the void sometimes. :( That happened to me in the early fall; stress over a few things came together and I looked to food as a solution. Like that helps right? :( I ended up gaining about 20# and didn't have the mindset to do any restarts. Until I saw the New Year looming and could see the stressors decreasing. So I told myself I was going to reset it for a New Year, against most people's advice. :| Everyone said, do it now, instead of waiting. But I know my emotional state and mindset wouldn't have supported that because I know me. :( So when I ran out of holiday food 2 days before NY's, I started and will stay with it. I know I'll have days here and there, always have and always will. :) But my mental health feels stronger now. I feel more capable.

    I know 'they' say our mental health and self esteem shouldn't matter when we don't feel good about our bodies and I agree. BUT unfortunately, at least with me, it doesn't work like that. I cannot work on one and leave the other behind. :) But there are a ton of other factors that play into the whole mix as well.

    I just wish you a lot of luck on your self-improvement goals throughout 2022!!
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 924 Member
    I've always said that the best diet is a good therapist.

    Eating is a behaviour, changing eating patterns is a psychological process more than a physical one. The vast majority of people who overeat do so because they use food as an emotional comfort.

    So yeah, managing the mental health side 100% makes managing the eating side more effective.
  • AlexandraFindsHerself1971
    Most people who are seriously overweight are using food for something other than fuel. Therapy is how you figure out your own individual reasons for self-medicating with food and learn new ways to cope with having the emotions, get properly medicated, and able to change eating patterns for good.
  • TX375
    TX375 Posts: 17 Member
    edited January 2022
    There are some pretty deep connections between our mental and physical health, and I feel like the key link is our subconscious mind. I’ve enjoyed the book “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle” by Tom Venuto where he discusses this at length. The good news is we can have some control and write that script that is running in the background. A lot of people dismiss affirmations and positive thinking, mostly because without positive action they’re not particularly useful. I guess they forget that part. I believe sheer will and determination are the coupling of affirmation and actions, and that has helped me be successful in a variety of areas in my personal and professional life. When I’ve lost sight of that I’ve not been at my best. Edit to add: a few books have been incredibly helpful for me as well:

    Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle and The Body Fat Solution by Tom Venuto
    Ego is the Enemy and The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
    Unf*ck yourself by Gary John Bishop (recommend the audiobook, he’s Scottish and very funny
    The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

  • Inspired_at_zero
    Inspired_at_zero Posts: 2 Member
    I wouldn’t have gone to the gym without addressing my core wounds. Understand what it takes to heal your inner-children because it’s the most liberating work you can do! If you want to know where I found this out, lemme know. It saved my marriage and gave me peace and understanding of myself and the world around me.
  • PixieKazza
    PixieKazza Posts: 48 Member
    Like others have said, both affect the other. I've been struggling mental health wise through this pandemic. Exercise really helps, even just a bit of youtube yoga / workout or a walk outside. This makes me feel 'better', which helps me more determined to eat better and stop comfort snacking.

    I go through phases of motivation, but I sort of feel in limbo, waiting for 'real life' to start again. Even though this is 'real life' and I need to move forward not stay put!

    So I need to be in a good place mentally to focus on my wellbeing, but also need to focus on my wellbeing to be in a good place mentally. Be kind to yourself and don't put too much pressure on yourself to get everything done is all I can say!
  • ChickenKillerPuppy
    ChickenKillerPuppy Posts: 297 Member
    For me, I wouldn't necessarily say "mental health" as much as "mindset." In other words, how I think about my eating and who I am and how I deal with life and food mentally is the most important component of what lead me to get to my goal weight, and more importantly, to keep it off. And believe me, I still struggle.

    It's the stuff so many of us deal with - getting out of the mindset that if I "mess up" or indulge, then the day is over, the week is over, heck, might as well wait until the first of the month to try again. It's about knowing there are times where my goal should simply be to maintain my weight so I can have more calories but at least I won't be gaining. It's about creating habits that kick in even when I have zero motivation. It's about days when I feel tired and don't want to work out, but instead of just saying "I can't run 4 miles today so I'm doing nothing" asking myself "what can I do?" or starting my run and giving myself permission to run 2 miles and maybe walk 2 miles or maybe I don't run at all but I take a long walk because I CAN do that, and feel good about doing something instead of nothing.

    If you are interested in changing mindset, two podcasts that have really helped me with that are Half Size me and We Only Look Thin. Both focus on lifestyle and mindset changes and ditching "dieting" forever.
  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,306 Member
    one can lead to the other. pick your poison.
  • Twistarella
    Twistarella Posts: 14 Member
    Super important. Great mental health normally means far less depression, anxiety, insomnia and binge eating. <3