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Mentally vs. Physically: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 16, 2023
Mentally relates to the mind, encompassing thoughts, emotions, and cognitive functions; physically pertains to the body, involving tangible, bodily activities or attributes.

Key Differences

Mentally refers to aspects related to the mind, such as thoughts, emotions, and intellectual capabilities. Physically, on the other hand, relates to the body, including physical strength, health, and bodily activities.
Mental health focuses on emotional, psychological, and social well-being, while physical health pertains to the body's condition, fitness, and absence of illness or injury. Both are crucial for overall well-being but address different human dimensions.
Experiences or actions can be mentally taxing, involving cognitive or emotional effort, whereas physically demanding activities require bodily strength, endurance, or movement. This distinction highlights the diverse nature of human capabilities.
Mental development encompasses learning, reasoning, and emotional maturation, while physical development is about growth, coordination, and strength of the body. Each plays a unique role in an individual's overall development.
Mentally, we perceive, think, and express emotions, whereas physically, we perceive through senses and express through actions or physical states. These different modes of perception and expression reflect the complexity of human nature.

Comparison Chart

Related to

Mind, thoughts, emotions
Body, tangible activities, health

Health Aspect

Mental health, psychological well-being
Physical health, bodily condition

Type of Effort

Cognitive, emotional
Bodily strength, endurance

Development Focus

Intellectual growth, emotional maturity
Bodily growth, physical coordination

Mode of Expression

Through thoughts and emotions
Through physical actions and states

Mentally and Physically Definitions


Relating to emotional or psychological states.
She felt mentally drained after the intense counseling session.


Regarding the health or condition of the body.
Physically, he's recovering well from the surgery.


Involving intellectual or cognitive activities.
He was mentally prepared for the challenging exam.


Involving bodily strength or movement.
She felt physically exhausted after the workout.


Pertaining to the mind or cognitive processes.
She's mentally sharp, solving complex puzzles quickly.


Pertaining to tangible, material aspects.
The sculpture was physically imposing, towering over the visitors.


Regarding the processing or understanding of information.
Mentally, he calculated the risks before making the decision.


Relating to the body or physical actions.
He's physically fit, running marathons with ease.


In terms of mental capacity or health.
Regular meditation helps him stay mentally healthy.


In terms of bodily presence or actions.
They were physically present at the event, but their minds were elsewhere.


Of or relating to the mind
Mental powers.
Mental health.


Of or relating to the body.


Can someone be mentally tired but physically energetic?

Yes, mental exhaustion and physical energy can occur independently.

What does it mean to be mentally strong?

It means having resilience, emotional intelligence, and the ability to handle stress.

Can mental exercises improve brain health?

Yes, activities like puzzles, reading, and learning can keep the brain healthy.

What are ways to improve mental health?

Practices like meditation, therapy, and stress management improve mental health.

Is mental illness always visible?

No, mental illness is not always visibly apparent.

How can physical health impact mental health?

Good physical health can improve mental well-being and vice versa.

How does physical exercise benefit mental state?

Physical exercise releases endorphins, improving mood and reducing stress.

What physical activities are good for mental health?

Exercise like walking, yoga, and sports can positively impact mental health.

Can mental health disorders affect physical health?

Yes, disorders like depression and anxiety can have physical health repercussions.

Can physically demanding jobs impact mental health?

Yes, they can lead to stress, fatigue, and burnout, affecting mental health.

Can mental stress cause physical symptoms?

Yes, stress can manifest physically through headaches, fatigue, or muscle tension.

How can one be mentally prepared for challenges?

By cultivating resilience, planning, and positive thinking.

Can physical activities improve cognitive function?

Yes, regular physical activity can enhance brain function and memory.

How does physical health affect aging?

Good physical health can lead to a healthier and more active old age.

Is physical presence important for mental connection?

While helpful, mental connection can also occur remotely through communication.

What's the importance of physical fitness?

Physical fitness is crucial for overall health, preventing diseases, and maintaining strength.

How to balance mental and physical well-being?

A combination of regular exercise, healthy eating, and mental health practices is key.

How does one recover mentally from trauma?

Through therapy, support networks, and coping strategies.

What is a mentally demanding job?

Jobs requiring problem-solving, decision-making, and creativity are mentally demanding.

What are signs of poor mental health?

Indicators include prolonged sadness, anxiety, mood swings, and withdrawal.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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