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18 November 2021 / Michelle L. Pierro

How Physical Well-Being Improves Mental: Health From a Phenomenological Perspective


Mental health. It’s a phrase that is often casually used, with various meanings attached to it, and sometimes stigmatized. Some look at it with a broad spectrum, while others think of it as taboo. Some take mental health to be the textbook cases or finite terminology, and others view it as overall well-being.

I view mental health as that broad spectrum. I think so many facets of our lives touch a part of what mental health really is. Stress, anxiety, depression, self-doubt, exhaustion, hormones, etc., are all areas or rather symptoms of mental health that play on the mind and body. I also feel women are often more prone to struggle with mental health and the symptoms and side effects that stem from it. Whatever view one takes on “mental health,” there are several ways to combat the pressures of it. For me, exercise is the fuel for my mind and body to support my physical well-being.

From a young age, I was very active. Whether it was organized sports, riding bikes, or swimming with my friends in the summer, I was always on the move. I remember coming home in the evening when the lights came on (yes, I am of that generation) and my body feeling exhausted but feeling utterly fulfilled. I was much too young to understand or explain that feeling, but as I became older, I recognized that feeling within me and could place it. That feeling being about my physical health and well-being. I became aware that exercise gave me a chance to clear my mind and escape my troubles. Realizing my troubles were still there when I was done, but somehow, I came out feeling stronger, more capable of tackling the issues laid at my feet. The physical activity also allows me to play into what mood I am carrying that day. If I’m angry, I push harder, if I’m deep in thought, maybe I take a long walk, if I’m anxious, it allows me to redirect my energy and my mind. At the very end of my workout, no matter how hard or easy, I have never left thinking, “man, what a waste of time” or “wish I wouldn’t have done that.”

To this day, I am extremely active and ensure I make the time for my physical exercise and well-being. Not only has it provided me with improving my mental health, but it also provides me with “my” time. Undoubtedly, it has also contributed to the betterment of my medical health. I find my physical well-being helps deliver an all-around better person in who I am. My mind is clear to think and listen, I become more patient with people and situations, I have more energy, and frankly, it has given me thicker skin because of the secondary confidence that comes with feeling good. Some people need medicines to support their mental health, and I believe I need my physical health. It is what makes me the best I can be - mind, body, and soul.

At the end of the day, it is what works for you. All I want for people is to be happy and healthy and tackle the day without feeling as if they are drowning and losing control. If my method helps just one person, it is a success!

This article was recently published in Vol. 6 Issue 3 of the American Legal & Financial Network (ALFN)’s Women in Legal Leadership (WILL) group publication. If you have questions, feel free to connect with author and attorney Michelle Pierro.

This blog is not a solicitation for business and it is not intended to constitute legal advice on specific matters, create an attorney-client relationship, or be legally binding in any way.

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Michelle L. Pierro

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