The Link Between Mental Health and Physical Pain

By January 22, 2021Blog

Mental health can play a major role in the way your body feels. If you experience depression, anxiety or other mental health challenges regularly, you may experience an increase in physical pain. Often that can add to your anguish. Understanding the link between mental and physical health can help you seek the best treatment. This would put your body and mind into a better condition and may relieve any chronic physical pain that you might be experiencing.

Physical exercise with Kettlebell

Increased Tension Can Exacerbate Pain

If anxiety or a panic disorder causes your muscles to feel tense regularly, this increase in tension can create painful sensations in certain parts of your body. You may also be more susceptible to muscle pulls because of the increased tension that results from your mental health challenges, and this can also cause you to feel more pain on a regular basis.

Poor Sleep Patterns

Being in a state of mental distress regularly can cause sleep disruptions that lead to chronic insomnia and fatigue. Lack of sleep can have gruelling effects on the body. It could make you more vulnerable to feeling physical pain frequently. Poor sleep patterns can also increase the number of headaches that you get.

Thoughts Heighten Pain Sensations

Focusing on distressing thoughts, such as a fear of an illness, death or physical pain in general, can lead to increased sensations of pain throughout your body. The frequency of distressing thoughts could cause your brain to create new neuropathways that make nerves in your body hypersensitive, and you might notice that you feel as though you’re in pain more often.

Lower Pain Tolerance

The amount of pain that you can tolerate maybe less if depression, anxiety or another mental health condition affects you. Pain receptors in your brain may become more sensitive because of the increased feelings of anguish.

The physical pain that you feel could in fact be coming from your mind, and treating any mental health conditions that you may have can help put an end to this physical pain. To learn more about how mental health can exacerbate physical pain, please watch the video below.

Watch Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction, explain the relationship between mindfulness and chronic pain.

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