Have you ever wondered how physical and emotional health relate? After all, you can’t help but notice how you get queasy when stressed or develop a headache when you’re sad. But the correlation between physical and emotional health goes well beyond temporary physical discomforts. In fact, research suggests that maintaining a healthy mental state can help you live a longer, more enjoyable life. Here’s how.
How Physical and Emotional Health Relate
Our thoughts affect our actions, and our actions affect our health. For example, people who experience stress may cope with a cigarette, a doughnut, or another unhealthy activity. Should this become a habit, a chronically stressed person may develop related health problems. This basic example outlines one very direct connection between mental and physical health, but it’s only the beginning. In fact, mental health may directly impact your immune system, heart, and overall energy level.
The Connection Between Depression and the Immune System
Those who feel anxious or depressed may have a weakened immune system. According to an article published by the American Psychological Association, significant stress levels negatively impact immune system functioning regardless of the duration of stress. Unfortunately, those exposed to chronic stress are more prone to excessive immune system damage, rendering the oldest and sickest most vulnerable to this negative stress-health cycle.
According to this 2002 study, people subject to chronic mild depression experienced diminished cellular responses to viruses and bacteria and their immunity declined with age. This and other studies suggest that depression duration, not severity, contributes most to the decline of the immune system.
Interestingly, the immune system may have just as great of an impact on depression as depression has on the immune system. To explain, we must discuss cytokines, which are pro-inflammatory proteins that the immune system triggers when the body is under stress. Over time, their release may cause damage to the medial prefrontal cortex or the part of the brain responsible for things like memory and decision-making. Consequently, prolonged or repeated exposure to cytokines can damage the medial prefrontal cortex to cause chronic depression.
However, CBD may be able to combat depression to improve immune system functions. For example, researchers suggest that CBD may help regulate mood by influencing serotonin sensitivity in the brain.
How Anger and Anxiety Impact the Heart
It turns out Hollywood was right; sudden bouts of anger or anxiety do increase your risk of a heart attack. According to a 2015 Australian study, a sudden burst of rage increases one’s risk of heart attack 8.5 times within the first two hours. The study noted a prolonged tenseness within the body (clenched teeth or fists, for example) during which the risk was exceptionally high.
What’s more, anxiety attacks can increase a person’s risk of heart attack 9.5 times, especially within the two hours following an attack. To clarify, an anxiety attack occurs when a sudden overwhelming sense of panic takes over the mind. Panic attacks may also include troubled breathing, trembling, and heart palpitations or chest pain.
Interestingly, CBD might help reduce anxiety and stress-related rage. According to this 2010 study, CBD significantly reduces generalized anxiety and dulls anxiety-related activity in the limbic system, or the part of the brain responsible for “fight-or-flight” responses.
Mental Illness and Fatigue
Those who suffer from depression often feel overwhelmingly tired. Contrary to popular belief, this is not just a case of laziness or avoidance. In fact, research suggests that those who suffer from chronic depression actually experience physical exhaustion.
According to one study from Bangor University in Wales, prolonged periods of mental activity can make people feel physically tired. To test this theory, researchers split a group of 16 participants into two groups. The study group participated in 90 minutes of cognitive tasks while the control group viewed neutral documentaries instead. Researchers then asked the participants to peddle stationary bikes to the point of exhaustion. They noted that those who engaged in cognitive tasks wore out quicker than the control group.
This study suggests that those prone to depressive cognitive thinking will experience the same lethargic consequences of their incessant thought patterns.
CBD is also a well-known anti inflammatory, which helps support a stressed immune system. Moreover, by balancing neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, CBD may also help regulate symptoms related to depression, anxiety, and chronic stress.
The Importance of Holistic Wellness
The mind and body are connected in a very intricate way. Physical health affects mental health, and mental health affects the physical. As such, it is imperative that we target whole body health rather than a single facet.
That’s where the Endocannabinoid System comes into play. In fact, many suggest that the sole purpose of the EC system is to help maintain balance within the body. And because the hemp plant produces cannabinoids that interact perfectly with the EC system, many suggest that it may serve as a vital supplement for holistic health.
In fact, some researchers suggest that endocannabinoid deficiencies contribute to an array of physical and mental conditions like arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, and mood disorders like depression and anxiety. This may also explain why cannabinoids like CBD and THC have such a wide-reaching scope of potential benefits. To be clear, the EC system helps control cellular signaling across the body. As such, supplementing CBD may help regulate deficiencies in endocannabinoids like anandamide (AEA) 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).
Final Thoughts on How Physical and Emotional Health Relate
Now that we know how physical and emotional health relate, Let’s share some simple ways you can improve your physical and mental well-being from home. To reiterate, those who are mindful of their entire well-being live longer, happier, and more fulfilling lives.
To begin, we suggest focusing on self-care – and we don’t mean having a glass of wine in the bath. Rather, we encourage you to listen to the sensations within your body and respect what they tell you. For example, if you are tired, then get some sleep. If you are hungry, eat nourishing foods. If you are lonely or sad, reach out to a friend or join a targeted social circle.
In fact, socialization can be a great way to reduce stress and enhance EC system function. According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Brain Research, rats that are socially isolated experience diminished EC System activity, whereas the opposite is true for socially stimulated rats. This finding suggests that a socially active lifestyle may improve health by improving Endocannabinoid System functions.
Whatever you do, always bear in mind that your health and your happiness are one-in-the-same. Remember to nourish all parts of your body if you want to remain balanced and joyful.
Notably, an easy way to kick-start your holistic health routine is with a daily dose of CBD. Our organic, in-house hemp blend features a full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that are perfect for jump-starting a happy, healthy life.