Tuesday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day. Did you know that according to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental disorders affect tens of thousands of people each year? However, only about half of those effected receive treatment.
The Connection between Weight and Mental Health
You may be wondering what this unusual topic is doing on a blog about weight management. The reality is that issues with weight often produce more than just physical effects. Mental health is a normal and significant factor in one’s weight management journey.
Why is this? Studies show that many people find weight to be a taboo subject. This might be because bias and stigma are often attached to weight in the U.S. culture. As a result, many internalize uncomfortable comments about weight and assign it power to control their self-esteem.
Unfortunately, many mental disorders are associated with weight in some shape or form. Examples include depression, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and anxiety. However, weight can produce other mental effects on individuals that may not be labeled as a disorder, but are still important to take into consideration.
Staying “Mentally Fit” While You Manage Your Weight
You’ve heard us say time and time again that your weight matters for your health. This includes mental health, too.
While you walk this important journey, what are some ways you can take care of your brain and stay mentally fit?
- Journal Your Feelings – Writing can give you cathartic release. Jot down your feelings about food, self-esteem, the future and whatever else concerns you.
- Exercise Frequently – Regular physical activity releases endorphins and strengthens mental clarity.
- Talk with People You Trust – Walking the weight management journey can seem impossible if you’re alone. Seek accountability in a friend, family member or health professional.
- Make Time for Self Care – You may feel busy, but try to make time for things which make you happy and relieve tension. Maybe it’s a massage, vacation or shopping spree. Find what works.
- Aim for Excellence, Not Perfection – Perfection doesn’t exist, and that applies to weight as well. Be proud of yourself as long as you are taking healthy steps forward.
In recognition of October 10, World Mental Health Day, take some time to assess your own mental health. Are you doing what’s in your power to stay healthy and happy?