Physical and mental well-being are closely linked. Here are some tips to find your balance in the most difficult times.
While ancient Greek medicine, together with Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, have always underlined an important and profound connection that binds the body and the mind, therefore the psyche and health, conventional Western medicine has begun to investigate on these aspects only recently, starting from the 1930s mainly thanks to Hans Selye’s work on stress.
To date these studies have become very important and the so-called psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology has made its own the knowledge acquired since the first decades of the twentieth century thanks to the new knowledge of endocrinology, immunology and about neuroscience.
By combining these three branches together in a single coherent model, we have arrived at a more organic and unified vision of health. In a certain sense, psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology wants to recover the ancient medical traditions of which it takes up the holistic approach, but within a framework of advanced science.
In short, it is a unitary approach to the human being, which with the wealth of knowledge accumulated over the centuries becomes today even more promising and interesting.
In the course of some important research it has been shown that the brain can influence the immune system, and that the latter, in turn, even more surprisingly, can make its effects felt on the brain.
The intermediaries of this internal “dialogue” in our body have also been deciphered: these are small molecules, the “neuropeptides”, which are released and captured by nerve, immune and endocrine cells.
Already in the first decades of the twentieth century it was known that physical, infectious and psychic factors can trigger stress, inducing a neuroendocrine and neurovegetative reaction.
In the 1970s, stress was shown to cause an increase in cortisol production, decreasing the immune response.
Later the bidirectional communication between brain and immunity was clarified and, over time, it was shown that inflammation can have a nervous origin.
Fighting stress to achieve physical and mental well-being
The first thing that needs to be done is to be aware.
The first step is to monitor the signals your mind and body show when you are under stress.
Each person experiences this state in a different way and, therefore, it is necessary to ask: “what do I think? What do I feel and what feelings do I have when I am under stress? ”.
For example, some people find it difficult to concentrate, others feel irritable… The first step is to monitor the signals that the mind and body show when you are under stress.
Being able to define and take note of these situations is very useful for fighting stress and preventing and managing its side effects. Once you are able to recognize the stress signals and the situations that activate them, it is necessary to manage the physiological activation inherent in the stress response.
Coping with stress
A second strategy is to take a step back from these situations and give yourself permission to take a break, dedicating yourself to something that reduces the state of stress will only improve the way you deal with it.
Some of these activities can be:
- breathe with the diaphragm
- follow relaxation techniques
How to achieve mental and physical well-being
Below we offer four simple tips to regain your physical and mental well-being, especially in the most intense periods.
The importance of hydration for mental and physical well-being
In order to feel good, it is essential for our body to be able to take at least 1.5 liters of water a day. Hydration is very important since water regulates all the main functions of our organs, stimulates diuresis, takes care of our skin. We must not wait for the stimulus of thirst to drink, but try to get water into the body throughout the day.
Practice physical activity
As everyone knows, physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins and helps us get rid of toxins and stress. If you are not a particularly sporty person, remember that even a simple 30-minute walk every day is enough to stimulate the body and feel better both mentally and physically.
Take care of the power supply
Sticking to a balanced diet made up of healthy foods is essential for mental and physical well-being. Having regular meal times also helps to accustom the body to a good eating routine. Remember that it is always best to have small meals, but several times during the day, for example by introducing a couple of snacks of fruit, yogurt or cereals.
The importance of proper rest
Sleeping 8 hours a night is ideal for not feeling tired during the day. In general, it is recommended to go to bed and wake up at the same time all the time to set up a sleep routine.