Your mental health will indeed reflect on your physical health. Statistics show that there is a relationship between physical and mental health. Your mind and body are never separate. If you have a healthy state of mind, your body will also be healthy, and vice versa is true. 

So, how does Mental Health affect your physical health?

  • It influences your mood, behavior, and how you think
  • It intensifies physical health problems, heart disease, poor body immunity, and even premature death

Impact of Mental Illness on Quality of Life

Aside from our emotional and psychological needs, mental health also involves social well-being. It touches on how we feel, think and relate with people around us. Mental health impacts everything and can affect anyone. 

How does poor mental health affect life? It affects;

  • Your mood and behavior,
  • Your social life, and
  • Your physical health.

But before we dive into the effects of mental illness, let’s address the question, what causes poor mental health? There is no single cause of mental illness; several factors contribute. Some of these factors include;

  • Our genetics. Research shows that one can inherit a mental disorder from parents (or along the family line) if they, too, suffer from it.
  • Our past or present experiences. It might be the emotional harm from your home, institution, or workplace. You may have a past traumatic experience (sexual, physical abuse, or loss).
  • Drug abuse is another factor. Smoking or excessive drinking of alcohol may lead to mental illness, especially if you become an addict and find it hard to quit or reduce intake. 

Now, back to the effects of mental illness. 

Mental Health Affects Your Behavior

We are subject to behavior changes depending on the events and circumstances we find ourselves in. For instance, we have different grieving methods when we lose a loved one. However, our response to these changes depends on our mental wellness. 

When we have sudden, prolonged, and conspicuous behavior changes, this may indicate something is wrong. 

Such changes may include the following:

  • Extreme changes in mood,
  • Panic attacks,
  • Uncontrolled anxiety, 
  • Psychotic experiences. Hallucinations or losing contact with reality. 
  • Self-harm or even having suicidal feelings.

Suffering from a mental disorder may cause one to withdraw from the world, always wanting to stay alone. It may cause one to engage in maladaptive activities such as watching TV, drinking, or abusing street drugs.

For children, mental illness can cause disruptive behavior changes in their conduct and emotions. A child may self-isolate or be aggressive toward other kids. 

Research also shows that mental health does affect life expectancy. The University of Oxford has proven that poor mental health can reduce life expectancy by about 20 years! That’s worse than heavy smoking. 

Mental Health Affects Your Social Life

Poor mental wellness can degrade the quality of your life and those around you. It can impact your well-being, work productivity, and relationship with those around you. 

A friend of mine suffered from severe depression that took over his life. He went into isolation; it affected his work; he cut off all social relations, dropped his schoolwork, he became physically unfit. His life became bleak. Thankfully, he is back on his feet with the help of various recovery programs.

Mental Health Affects Your Physical Health 

Your physical health directly links to your mental life. If one is not mentally healthy, there is a high chance the effects will be visible in their physical health. 

Depression may cause sleep disorders or loss of appetite, affecting your physical health. Mental illness may also cause panic attacks, which can cause difficulty breathing. 

Additionally, other diseases associated with mental health include;

  • Diabetes; stress hormones (cortisol) can cause a variation in blood sugar levels
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Heart diseases
  • Chronic pains

Mental health may also lead to unhealthy practices, which may cause more disorders. These destructive practices include smoking, excessive drinking, or using street drugs.

How to be Mentally Healthy?

There are various ways in which you can regain your mental health, including:

1. Visiting a Therapist 

Mental wellness involves both the mind and the body. Treating the symptoms (headache, sleep disorder, etc.) without addressing the reason will only worsen the issue. 

I have heard of patients misdiagnosed or given medication that only suppresses the symptoms, never alleviating the root cause. The drugs will only offer temporary relief if not accompanied by a session with a therapist. 

You will need a specialist with a two-dimensional approach to the illness who will deal with the somatic symptoms by finding the root cause. I recommend you connect with Ross Mckenzie, a seasoned therapist, to walk you through the journey.  

Your past traumatic experiences and any other instability could also use a listening ear. 

2. Be Mindful of Your Physical Health

Do Exercise

Take a 10 or 20-minute walk daily or enroll in a gym club. Physical exercise helps keep your body to stay fit and improves your mood. Remember, being physically fit contributes to mental fitness. A workout can help your body build strength and resilience to cope with stressful environments.  


Meditation or yoga can also help cultivate good mental health. Meditation may help steam off stressful experiences in the workplace. Practicing yoga may help relax the body, making you more active and productive.

Eat Healthily And Have Enough Sleep

Having a balanced diet improves not only your body but also your mind’s health. Healthy nutrition provides the necessary energy to keep your body functioning correctly. Avoid smoking or using drugs, and ensure you get at least 8 hours of sleep. 

3. Connect with Friends

Set time for family and friends, volunteer in community service, or have lunch with a colleague. Avoid isolating yourself. Have friends you can talk with and share sensitive matters with in case things get out of hand. 

Friendships give one a sense of belonging and self-worth. Talking with a loved one is one of the best ways to avoid stress and counter the consequences of traumatic experiences by receiving emotional support.