First of all, if you read my post about Life With Anxiety and commented on my post and on facebook, THANK YOU. It makes my heart happy to connect. To share stories. To hear someone say “Its nice to know I’m not alone.” That’s what it’s all about.
As I was thinking about the future of my blog, I first thought back to why I started: my passion for health. So far I have shared healthy recipes, fitness posts, and some healthy lifestyle tips. I’ve focused on physical health (which I believe is important). However, healthy eating and exercise alone don’t make a person “healthy.” There’s a third aspect to health, and that’s being mentally well.
I think a lot of people buy into the mentality that if they are “healthy” , “skinny”, “ripped”, (insert your word here) then they will be healthy…and therefore happy. And sometimes that’s true. But for someone that is dealing with mental or emotional issues, becoming healthy is more than that. You can get as physically fit as possible, but you cannot run away from unsolved issues. It is always better better to face the problem sooner rather than later (easier said than done, right?).
After struggling with anxiety and body/eating issues for years, I want to establish a healthy relationship with my body and my mind. I want to feed myself nourishing food that makes me feel good. I want to enjoy exercising and treating my body right. I want to not beat myself up when I don’t always eat perfect or exercise enough. I don’t want to hate myself for feeling anxious or not being “happy” enough. Basically I want to love myself, and that means loving my body, mind and soul.
People may think that mental health is not as important since it cannot be physically seen. I have learned the hard way that this is not true. For the last year, I’ve been dealing with severe back/neck/hip problems. I’ve visited a chiropractor more times in a year than any 21 year old ever should. I didn’t used to be like this. In fact, I rarely had pain. I asked my chiropractor if he had any idea what causes my frequent flareups and he responded that my body most likely has a psychosomatic reaction to stress. Psychosomatic is defined as “of a physical illness or other condition caused or aggravated by a mental factor such as internal conflict or stress.”
And suddenly it started to make sense. If I go on a trip or even have a stressful day, I know that I’m going to have issues. My hips often pop out of place and my back and neck get really tight or out of place. It is one of the most frustrating things that I have ever dealt with. I feel like I’m trying to take care of my body but that it continues to mess up. I do my best to eat well and avoid extreme physical exercise, but the pain keeps coming back.
All that to say, mental health is so important because it will effect so many aspects of your life. My goal is to understand my mind, not hate it. I have always been a deep thinker for as long as I can remember. I’m different, and my struggles are different than someone who has never had anxiety. I have a lot of things that I want to come to terms with in my life, and my goal is to find mental clarity and be at peace with who I am.
If you’re reading this, I encourage you to start loving yourself and making changes to become healthier, mentally and physically. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. I’m going to start a new series on the blog called “Wellness Wednesdays”, where I’ll talk about different issues I’m facing and what I’m learning along the way. I hope you’ll join me!