Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: The Correlation Between Good Physical Health and Good Mental Health

 

There’s someone I’d like you to meet. Its name is science, and it’s going to help me prove my point that health and happiness are symbiotic. Believe me when I say that there is countless evidence to support the correlation between good physical health and good mental and emotional health.

You may not know this, but everything you experience is a chemical reaction in your brain.

Romance is the best example of this. As Harvard researchers found, the initial feeling of falling in love is literal anxiety thanks to an influx of cortisol—better known as the stress hormone. 

This is the reason why you get butterflies in your stomach when you see, talk to, or even think about someone that you are attracted to. The discomfort, nervousness, racing heart, sweaty palms, breathlessness and other symptoms of romance, are physical fear—your brain’s way of preparing for a crisis, as the aforementioned Harvard researchers detailed in their study.

The reason why it feels good, is because cortisol isn’t the only chemical your brain releases in love. Dopamine—the happy chemical—is produced too, bringing about feelings of euphoria and reward.

There are also observable spikes in oxytocin—the love hormone—so that you’ll feel satisfied, safe and content—and also a lesser-known hormone called vasopressin, which enables emotional attachment and bonding.

Furthermore, the changes in your brain chemistry literally shut down your brain’s negativity center, so it is biologically possible to get high on romance, and also explains why those who are newly in love are so insufferably happy.

Love is the most talked-about response in humans, but the premise of why it makes us feel the way it does—it being a chemical reaction that we can’t control—applies to all things that feel good.

Beyond romance, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins are necessary to happiness and pleasure, and by association producing sufficient amounts of each could make you a more positive person.

The question is how can you go about making more of these happy chemicals?

You may not like it, but the answer has been there this entire one, you’ve probably just ignored or denied it. Taking care of yourself—by exercising, eating good food, making an effort to enjoy life, meditating, and getting ample quality sleep—all improve our body’s ability to produce and release the good stuff.

 

 

On the other hand, bad and unhealthy habits suppress them. One example of this is an animal study, in which rats were overfed junk food. The result was that their dopamine receptors lost power and so, higher levels of junk food were required to feel good.

This is how addiction to unhealthy things works. You think you’re happy, but in truth, your ability to feel pleasure is stunted. As time goes on, you need more and more of the bad stuff to feel minuscule amounts of satisfaction.

With dopamine, in particular, a deficiency carries a variety of horrible symptoms. These include physical problems such as muscle pains, loss of appetite, changes in weight, loss of balance, and vulnerability to pneumonia; but the psychological effects are quite simply disturbing.

 

A lack of dopamine can bring about mood swings, hopelessness, demotivation, anxiety and depression, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, delusions and hallucinations, loss of self-awareness and self-esteem, and inexplicable sadness and guilt.

 

If this doesn’t perfectly portray how a healthy body enables a healthy mind, then I don’t know what will.

In some cases, you might be producing too much of the good chemicals, which also negatively impacts your health, behavior, and mindset. Using the example of dopamine again, an excess of it may cause you to lose your inhibitions and become reckless.

You’ll also become more aggressive and less empathetic and may also be susceptible to disorders like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), schizophrenia and paranoia, mania, and addiction.

Everything in moderation applies to each of these happy chemicals, and the key to using them adequately and to your benefit is to help your body balance their production.

If you are producing sufficient happy chemicals, your outlook on life is bound to improve.

 

Tony Sanders is living in Palm Springs Florida today, has an amazing wife and two children. He likes to travel and run marathons all around the world.

 

Official list of Tony Sanders books 👇

How to Live a Good Life: 2 Books in 1: Take Control of Your Life, Eliminate Negative Thinking, Relieve Anxiety, Improve Your Social Skills, Self-esteem and Confidence with the Habits of a Happy Brain

Change Your Habits in 30 Days: Small Daily Changes to Break Your Bad Habits, Build Good Ones, and Start Living A Wealthy, Happy, and More Successful Life

F*ck your negative thoughts: 7 steps to get out of your head and start living an awesome life

 

 

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