The Physical Impact of Mental Health

The state of your mental health is often reflected in your physical health, and vice versa. Poor physical health such as chronic illnesses, obesity, and sleep disorders can lead to a decline in your mental and emotional health. Likewise, a waning mental state can negatively affect your body by disrupting your routine and creating roadblocks to success. Your productivity and longevity both depend on a cycle of improvement and constant maintenance. Below we’ll discuss the effects of poor emotional health on physical health, uncover some reasons why you may experience strains in your mental health, and list ways you can help yourself improve.

The physical effects of mental health

Those struggling with mental illnesses are at a higher risk of experiencing a physical decline in health. A domino effect begins when emotional or psychological distress disrupts your sleeping and eating habits, causing fluctuations in your weight and sleep patterns. Poor mental health can leave you with low motivation for completing responsibilities and unable to improve unhealthy behaviors. Studies have shown that those who struggle with poor mental health are less likely to seek routine medical care and more likely to turn towards damaging coping mechanisms. This puts them at a greater risk of developing physical ailments and chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, while also placing further strain on their mental health.

Experiencing mental health struggles are common and unique

According to the CDC, more than 50% of people will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. 1 in 5 Americans (both adults and children) experience emotional illness, and some of these (around 1 in 25 for adults) are serious, debilitating cases. Evidence shows that psychological health changes are caused by either inherited or environmental factors, or some combination.

Besides a genetic predisposition, there are many reasons you could find yourself experiencing a change in mental health:

Ways to improve mental and physical health

If poor mental health can negatively impact your physical health, improved mental health has the same domino effect, and will lead to improved physical health. Follow these tips to improve your mental health:

Recognize when you need help

Your mental and physical health are closely intertwined and depend on each other. Seeking professional counseling is a great way to improve mental health and support an improvement in your physical health. For residents of California and Nevada, Medens offers licensed, affordable therapists specializing in many areas. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, reach out to us via our online form or by calling/texting us at (833) 624-5400.


The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.

If you or someone you are responsible for is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room.