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The Not So Surprising Connection Between Mental Health and Physical Health

Burpees and boundaries, oh my. Yes, it’s true. Physical and mental health directly affect one another. With obesity levels consistently on the rise and currently standing at 1 in 3 people considered obese it is no wonder that 1 in 5 people are diagnosed with a mental health disorder. A CDC study from over 10 years ago Bexar County, where San Antonio is located, reported that 65.7% of adults were overweight or obese and in Texas 32.4% of children 10-17 were overweight or obese. At Courageous Counseling and Consulting, PLLC., we believe that gone are the days where a client enters therapy and only addresses the mental aspect. We believe in whole body well-being and our approach incorporates many facets on a individuals life, including their physical health.

What can you expect from therapy with us regarding addressing the link between mental health and physical health. In a snapshot….

We will expect you to….

  1. Get Moving – A generally acceptable move goal is to log a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. Now, before your mind starts to tell you that “I don’t have time for that” I would stand to challenge that perspective and remind you that what you prioritize you will conquer (or at the very least get closer to the goal than when you start). This new behavior may require you to replace some old habits that you really enjoy and in the process give you the opportunity to create new healthy skills that are life giving. We highly encourage resistance training as a part of a healthy lifestyle. Overall the message is easy moving your body improves your mental health.
  2. Participate in your annual check up with your PCP – Most insurances cover this expense at 100% so why would you not take advantage of this time to screen and reassess your health with your physician. Women do not exempt yourself from also making that yearly appointment with your gynecologist. Oh, so you don’t have a “lady doc” follow the link to find a great group of women who are serving people well in my area.
  3. Talk about your weight – Insert the gasp here. I know, I know. Talking about weight is equivalent to discussing money with an individual (which by the way we also address…FINANCIAL HEALTH IS KEY!!) Back to weight we are not addressing it to shame anyone we are addressing it because the science is clear more weight on the body creates more symptoms and stressors for the body. Studies have found that excessive weight leads to increase risk of developing depression. Avoidance is never the coping skill that is helpful in this case. We want to help you lessen the load you are carrying both, physically and mentally. BTW…did you know that trauma can causes us to store fat and resist weight loss in many ways, including but not limited to glucose intolerance. The amazing ACES study actually began in a obesity clinic with scaling overweight and obese individuals. Interested in your scaling your ACES or PEARLS (pediatric versions).
  4. Reduce sugar intake – Sugar gives us an especially impactful dopamine hit that makes us keep coming back for more. It is said that sugar is more addictive than crack, cocaine, alcohol, nicotine and more. Interestingly enough it is found in everyday processed food in high amounts. Could this be why we are seeing the obesity epidemic continue to grow and younger children becoming the new victims of this epidemic. Definitely food for thought.
  5. Decrease/eliminate Red Dye 40, Yellow 6, and Yellow 5  – Did you know that some dyes have been banned in Norway, Finland, France, Austria, and the United Kingdom. You must be wondering why, especially since Red Dye 40 or its other alias seem to be in so many foods. Surely, our food and everything in it is given the upmost priority. Unfortunately, there are studies that suggest that dyes including those listed above lead to hyperactivity and inattentiveness in children.

What else might we ask of you?

Reduce your chemical and EMF absorption

Eat meat especially organs

Limit alcohol consumption

Eat at home more often

Trade in Teflon for cast iron

Ditch harmful cooking oils 

Reduce your stress levels 

As you can see at Courageous Counseling and Consulting, PLLC. we are committed to be MORE THAN MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS we are WELL-BEING WARRIORS.