4 Pillars of Health and They Are All Connected
Our health is not just physical, it is made up of our physical health, mental health, emotional health and spiritual health. They are all connected and they all impact each other. If our physical health is affected by an illness, accident or injury then that can have an impact on the other areas of our health. But it works the other way too, if we are struggling with our mental or emotional health that can show up as physical symptoms in our bodies.
Even a bad cold or a virus can leave us feeling low in mood and not just because of feeling sorry for ourselves because we aren’t well. Maybe having a physical illness means we haven’t been able to do the things we normally do that also look after our mental health like being active, eating well, getting outside and connecting with others.
Living with a longterm physical illness can also have a significant impact on mental and emotional health. The strain of living with physical symptoms longterm, coming to terms with a diagnosis, the uncertainty, the stress, the isolation, feeling different, the change of identity and sense of self, the changes in role and responsibilities to name just a few things.
Many longterm physical illnesses are also impacted by mental and emotional stress and can result in a flare up of physical symptoms when going through a period of mental or emotional stress.
Mental and emotional stresses don’t just affect people physically that already have a physical illness but they can show physical symptoms. Stress for example can cause many physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, palpitations, joint aches, digestive problems, lack of energy, problems sleeping, frequent infections, loss of libido.
We also hold our emotions in our bodies, think of a time you felt angry – how did it feel in your body? What about a time you felt sad how did that feel in your body? Or when you felt excited about something how did that feel in your body?
Spiritual health means different things to different people, to some it is that which is greater, to some it is connection to themselves, to some it is connection to nature and the world around them. There are many ways people connect with their spiritual side and different things work for different people. For some it is prayer, meditation, mindfulness. For some it is expressing their creativity. For some it is being around nature.
Some people find getting in touch with and exploring their spiritual health may help other areas of their health too.
Many of the things we do to look after one area of our health such as eating well, moving our bodies and being hydrated for physical health also have beneficial effects on the other areas of our health. And when we are in a good place mentally and emotionally we are more likely to take care of our physical health.
We are all unique and while there are some common ways these connections show up as mentioned above having an awareness of our own minds and bodies and how things show up really helps us to manage all these areas of our health.
March 25th, 2022.