What’s the Relationship between Physical and Emotional Health?

Many Americans are learning more about the connection between good mental health and good physical health. The following are just a few statistics that prove when it comes to your body, your mind really matters.

Mind/Body Health

Psychological studies show that your mind and your body are strongly linked. As your mental health declines, your physical health can wear down, and if your physical health declines, it can make you feel mentally "down." A positive outlook can help keep you healthy.

Behavior and Health

80 percent of Americans say that during the past few years they have become more aware of how their mental health and emotions can affect their physical health (APA 2005)

Two-thirds of all office visits to family physicians are due to stress-related symptoms (American Academy of Family Physicians)

43 percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress ("The Stress Solution: An Action Plan to Manage the Stress in Your Life", Lyle H. Miller, Ph.D., and Alma Dell Smith, Ph.D.)

93 percent of Americans say that perceptions, thoughts, and choices affects physical health (APA 2005)

58 percent of Americans believe that one can't have good physical health without good mental health (APA 2005)

High levels of hostility have been found to predict heart disease more often than high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, or obesity (Health Psychology, November 2002)

Men high in optimism were less than half as likely to develop heart disease than were the more pessimistic men (Veterans Administration Normative Aging Study)

64 percent of Americans said they are taking steps to reduce the level of stress in their lives (APA 2005)

More than 1/3 of Americans say they have had an illness that was primarily caused by stress (APA 2005)

86 percent of respondents to a 2005 APA survey on the mind/body connection said that a comprehensive physical exam should include some discussion of their emotional state and well-being.

Employees receiving mental health counseling lowered the usage of medical insurance by 31 percent (Group Health Association)

Behavior and Longevity

Research supports the idea that having a positive outlook can extend one's life ("Emotional Longevity: What Really Determines How Long You Live," Norman B. Anderson and Elizabeth P. Anderson, 2003)

Work-related stress can double one’s risk of dying from heart disease (British Medical Journal, 2002)

Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death – heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide. ("The Stress Solution: An Active Plan to Manage the Stress in Your Life," Lyle H. Miller, Ph.D. and Alma Dell Smith, Ph.D.)

People with high levels of anxiety can have between two to seven times the risk of heart disease. ("Emotional Longevity: What Really Determines How Long You Live," Norman B. Anderson and Elizabeth P. Anderson, 2003)

Behavior and ProductivityWorkplace stress causes approximately one million U.S. employees to miss work each day (American Institute of Stress)

Stress causes American industry more than $300 billion annually in lost hours due to absenteeism, reduced productivity and workers compensation benefits (The American Institute of Stress)

More than one in four workers have taken a "mental health day" off from work to cope with stress (APA 2005)

More than a third of workers (36 percent) say physical illness and ailments are a cause of stress at work (APA 2005)

Nearly one third of workers say that personal life interfering at work is a significant source of stress (APA 2005)

In 1999, anxiety-related disorders cost the U.S. $42 billion a year in work-related medical losses (National Institute of Mental Health)

Physical Health and Psychologists

Consumers report that talk therapy was reportedly more effective than drug therapy for depression and anxiety (Consumer Reports, October 2004)

78 percent of Americans said they would go to a psychologist if he/she could help manage stress (APA 2005)

54 percent of Americans said they would see a psychologist to prevent the day-to-day stress that can build up from becoming a problem (APA 2005)

68 percent of Americans said they would visit a psychologist to deal with physical symptoms that are emotional in nature (APA 2005)

Source: American Psychological Association

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Ocean State Psychology
1445 Wampanoag Trail, Suite 108A
Riverside, Rhode Island 02915


Ocean State Psychology provides counseling and therapy for adults and children and serves the following communities: East Providence Barrington Riverside Providence Warren Bristol Pawtucket Lincoln Smithfield Cranston Cumberland North Providence Warwick and Seekonk, MA.