4 Ways the Mental Health of Children Influences Their Physical Health

Guest Blogger Anita Ginsburg

You often hear the phrase “mind and body” go hand-in-hand, and rightly so. There is plenty of evidence out there that suggests the intense relationship and correlation between the two states of being, especially within children who have a difficult time managing and navigating so many new and unfamiliar emotions. Poor mental health can have a negative effect on physical health and vice versa. In the same way, regular exercise (especially walking) and frequent activity outside in the fresh air may help manage mental health issues within children and adults alike.

Mind and Body
MSW graduate programs are ideal for those who want to make a difference in the lives of children and move them towards health. Social workers know that the mind and body are fully connected. When a child can discuss and be treated for mental health issues, he or she is more fully able to function on a day-to-day basis. Something as simple as going to school becomes easier, more manageable, because they have a “coach” and a supporter to process and grow with.

Exercise Brings Ease
Regular physical exercise may be able to reduce anxiety and stress in children and adults. It also can also help children focus, concentrate on given tasks, and think more clearly. Exercise is not only good for short-term mood-boosting (thanks to thousands of tiny endorphins that are released into our systems when we engage in physical exercise) but it can be beneficial for long-term happiness and health too.

Common Pains
When mental health issues aren’t treated, they can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression. For example, when children feel extra anxious in group settings, they can experience symptoms like palpitations, sweating, upset stomach and more. If they are depressed, they may have a change in appetite that can make them feel sicker or have an upset stomach. Treating the root causes of anxiety and depression can help them avoid these common pains that can be scary or embarrassing.

Increase Motivation
Mentally healthy children are often more optimistic and open-minded than those that aren’t. If children have peace of mind, they are free to dream and explore and create. They can feel confident and positive about their decisions, instead of anxious and unsure, which can lead to stagnation.

Children with mental health concerns should work with medical professionals and loved ones to control their symptoms. Because it can affect physical health too, it’s important they receive the right treatment to lead a healthy lifestyle.

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