How the mind-body connection impacts your health
Strengthening the connection between your body and mind can go a long way toward boosting your overall health, says Mikhail Varshavski, DO, a board-certified family physician also known as “Doctor Mike” to his nearly 10 million social media followers.
Taking care of yourself means more than simply nurturing your body—you must also prioritize your mental health.
“Understand that struggles in your life don’t just affect your mind, they can trigger a variety of other symptoms, like restlessness, interrupted sleep patterns, and fatigue,” says Dr. Varshavski. As an osteopathic physician, he treats his patients holistically, taking a comprehensive approach to their care that factors in their physical needs as well as their emotional ones.
He offers three tips for strengthening the mind-body connection:
- Listen to Your Body: Struggling with your mental health can produce physical symptoms such as disturbances in your sleep or diet. Dr. Varshavski explains that mental health issues can also exacerbate existing diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and others. Be sure to share any new or ongoing symptoms with your doctor so that, together, you can find solutions that work for you.
- Talk to Your Doctor: Osteopathic physicians are your partners on the road to optimal health, so it’s important that you feel comfortable communicating. “The more you share [with me], the better I can understand the problem and provide a solution,” says Dr. Varshavski.
- Prioritize Self-Care: Taking time for yourself is not a luxury—it’s essential to safeguarding your well-being. Dr. Varshavski reminds us that even small changes to our routine, such as starting up a meditation practice or engaging in easy exercises like walking, can reap big rewards.
“Be intentional. Exercise. Focus on nutrition. Get enough rest,” says Dr. Varshavski, “And partner with a physician who understands you as a whole.”