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What Is More Important: Physical, Mental, Emotional, Or Spiritual Health?

Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Health are all equally important. Even the WHO defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity–They’re all interlinked and there can’t really be health if any of these is lacking.

There Is A Strong Correlation Between Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Health

Although most people’s definition of mental health encompasses the emotional and spiritual aspects of it, it is to be noticed that they are slightly different. However, the dictum “No Health Without Mental Health” is very real. 

The clear correlation between physical and mental health can be easily identified, especially in those people who suffer from a mental illness. However, the risks of suffering a mental illness or becoming emotionally weak are greater in people that don’t have much physical health.

In short, none of these can be considered more important than the other.

How mental health affects physical health

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health. Research has shown that poor mental health is detrimental to physical health. Certain conditions like schizophrenia are associated with 3 times more risk of suffering respiratory diseases and 2 times as much risk of dying from heart disease.

What’s even more disturbing is that depression, which is more common today than what it was a few years ago, has been linked to a 67% increase in the risk of dying from heart disease. People with the highest levels of self-rated distress were more likely to die from cancer.

These numbers are astonishing at the least. Although the direct pathway between mental and physical health is not completely understood, it is known that people with underlying mental health conditions are less likely to seek help or receive physical healthcare.

Physical Activity Can Improve Your State Of Mind

It’s been known for years that physical activities have a direct beneficial impact on our states of mind. Research has proven this to be true thousands of times over the years, yet, people still ignore it. People who lead sedentary lifestyles are more likely to develop diseases, suffer from higher levels of stress, or suffer from depression.

Even short periods of physical activity can greatly improve your mental well-being. Most times, thanks to endorphins and other chemicals released, you will notice an increase in your mental alertness, energy, and mood. So, even if physical activity is not the only factor that can impact your emotional and mental health, you can rest assured that you’ll enjoy a better quality of life.

Emotional Health Has An Impact In Your Everyday Life

Although emotional health is often referred to as mental health, it is not quite the same. Emotional health focuses on your emotions, self-awareness, resilience, and feelings of fulfillment, which is a fundamental aspect of mental well-being.

Being emotionally healthy means that you’re able to assess your emotions, allowing you to respond better to certain situations. Whenever you have negative thoughts, emotional health can help you process them in more positive ways. This is known as emotional regulation, which is an extremely important skill in today’s fast-paced world.

The Benefits of Emotional Health

Increased Resilience

Distress is directly related to physical illnesses and a weaker immune system. Being emotionally able to manage stressful situations will lead you to live a happier and healthier life.

Improved Relationships

Relationships with its social aspects are one of the three pillars of health’s definition according to the World’s Health Organization. As you are able to connect with others to a deeper level and show more empathy and compassion, your relationships will become much more healthy.

Feelings of accomplishment

Being emotionally healthy means that you’re also able to recognize your own positive emotions. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of life, you’re presented with the opportunity of focusing on positive outlooks, which in turn make you feel more fulfilled.

Higher Self-esteem

This is more of a sub-product of the three previous benefits. Less stress, better relationships, and the ability to picture a brighter future will drastically improve your self-esteem.

The Spiritual Element Of Wellness

Spiritual health is just one of the aspects of enjoying overall health, but it does not make it less important. Since spirituality can often tap into subjectiveness, it can be a bit hard to define. From an academic point of view, spirituality can be examined from very different angles including religious, individualistic, and material-world oriented.

Religious

The religious component is a sense of connection with God or other deities, depending on one’s religion. A connection with a superior being plays an important role in human history and it’s been shown that it can affect the social aspects of our lives.

Individualistic

This refers to our connection with ourselves as humans. Being able to examine our lives, responsibility, culture, moral virtues, behavior, and self-perception. Much like emotional health, the individualistic aspect of spiritual health is all about being in tune with oneself.

World-Oriented

It refers to our connection with the world that surrounds us. Social interactions, nature, relationships, and everything that is not under our control. This aspect is very similar to social health.

Spiritual health directly impacts physical, mental, and emotional health in the same way that mental health impacts physical, or physical can impact emotions. The spiritual aspects of well-being are a bit more subjective than the others, but it addresses what is arguably the most difficult topic of life: Our Existence.

Through spiritual wellness, you can find meaning and purpose, bringing harmony and deeper meanings into our lives.

Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Health Are Just Parts Of A Whole

To enjoy the benefits of being a healthy human being you can’t simply focus on your diet while you can’t handle stress at work. Spending 20 hours a day, 7 days in a row meditating about your existence and your emotions is also not healthy. On the other hand, addressing each aspect as a whole rather than individually will yield you the best results.

Think of it this way: When you purchase a house, you expect it to have at least four walls and a roof over your head. When you buy a car, you buy one that can travel. The same way, when you speak about health you can’t exclude any of these four aspects.

Being able to lead a healthier and fulfilled life is not as complicated as it sometimes seems. Sometimes, all you need to do is pay a little attention to yourself. When you’re able to see what you need, everything else will start falling into place.

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