How Depression and Anxiety Can Impact Your Health

(Contributed Post)

It's easy to believe that mental health problems are solely confined to your mind. When you suffer from depression or anxiety, you experience a range of thoughts and feelings. This can impact your physical health in a variety of ways. Below are several bodily systems that can be affected by the state of your mind.

Digestive System

Your digestive system is very strongly linked to your mental health. For example, when experiencing anxiety, your stomach flutters. Depression can cause digestive upset as well. Oftentimes, those suffering from anxiety and/or depression experience digestive issues like constipation. 

The reason for this is that when you are tense, your digestive system doesn't work properly. You may find yourself in a vicious cycle of taking laxatives for constipation every day. If your diet isn't the issue, there's a high chance your constipation could be linked to stress and other mental health problems. 

Cardiovascular Health

If there's one organ in your body that you don't want to disrupt, it's the heart. Unfortunately, there's a strong link between your mental health and heart health. In short, when your mental health is struggling, so will your heart. Your resting heart rate will increase so that your heart has to work harder to keep blood pumping. This can put you at risk of cardiovascular disease, which may lead to a heart attack. Moreover. those with depression or anxiety will often have extremely high blood pressure readings, further increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

Respiratory System

That's right, your mental health can also impact your respiratory system. When you're anxious, you you begin to breath rapidly, which leads to hyperventilating. This can trigger lightheadedness and the possibility of fainting.

Furthermore, people with mental health issues often find it hard to breathe properly. When we are unable to release tension, breathe becomes shallow and tight. It's important to learn methods for easing mental tension and relaxing the body, like deep breathing and stretching.

As you can see, mental health is important on a variety of levels. If you want to enjoy physical health, you need to tend to your inner mental state.

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