What is the mind-body connection? Learn how your emotions affect the body and how you think here.
Heal the Mind-Body Connection
The Mind Affects Overall Health and Wellness
The mind-body connection is the intimate and complex dance that takes place between the mind and the body.
It weaves through the body’s systems and cells. You may have heard of the mind-body connection and how what you’re feeling and thinking affects the body.
Negative thoughts and feelings can lead to feelings of stress and, in turn, can result in pain and disease. On the other hand, positive thinking can lead to better physical and mental wellbeing.
The brain isn’t flying solo and your emotions can have a big impact on your body and the way you interact with the world.
Here are four ways you can fuel your mind-body connection and feel your best:
- Practice mindfulness and meditation
- Self-actualization and self-awareness
- Get moving
How Do Your Feelings and Thoughts Affect Your Health?
Emotions like fear, sadness, guilt, anger, and depression can manifest within the body and contribute to disease and imbalances.
You probably already know the effect fear can have on an upset stomach or how tension can lead to headaches. When you experience emotional states, your body reacts physically.
For example, constant worry and stress over your finances or in a relationship can lead to tense muscles, headaches, and even stomach problems. On the other hand, what we do physically can have an impact on the mind like what you eat, how much you exercise, and your posture can all influence your mental state, either positively or negatively.
One study found that hardening of the arteries was more frequent in wives when they and their husbands expressed hostility during marital disagreements, and more common in husbands when their wives act in a controlling way.
Mounting evidence shows that the mind plays a bigger role in disease and healing involves leading to a greater acceptance of mind-body medicine.
The World Health Organization also recently recognized burnout as a mental illness affecting people experiencing stress and anxiety in the workplace. Employees who cannot manage the overproduction of stress hormones due to work pressure may experience respiratory or gastrointestinal issues.
WHO describes burnout as an “occupational phenomenon.”
Healing the body and mind and preventing disease require a combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual tools. There are a number of mind-body approaches that can help you process your emotions, work towards a feeling of inner peace, and transform your physical wellness.
Healing the Body, Mind, and Spirit
1. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
You’ve no doubt heard the benefits that come from a regular mindfulness or meditation practice.
Meditation is a valuable tool that can make you feel more present and centered in the mind.
A regular practice has been shown to help the body regulate emotional responses and neurochemical patterns that can otherwise fill the body with harmful stress hormones.
It helps the mind stop being anxious about what may happen and allows you to focus on what you need to do today.
It’s normal for thoughts to pop into your head when you start meditation. When you keep your mind relaxed, you are able to give your brain a chance to relax and organize thoughts and feelings.
This way, you can remove negative thoughts which may translate to physical symptoms if allowed to fester.
If you’re not sure where to start with your own practice, try downloading the app Headspace. It takes you through the basics of meditation and sends gentle reminders to take time for yourself every day, even if it’s just 10 minutes to heal and look inward.
It’s amazing how something as simple as breathing can actually have the power to calm the mind and make you feel revitalized in a short space of time. According to The American Institute of Stress, doing just 20 to 30 minutes of abdominal breathing every day reduces anxiety and stress.
People tend to unconsciously practice shallow breathing, which results in the lower half of the lungs not being properly filled with air. Too little oxygen in the body results in anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental and physiological problems.
When your emotions can have such a big impact on your health and body, it’s important to identify your emotions and understand why you are having them and how you can cope with them. Calming the mind using relaxation methods such as deep breathing is a useful way to keep your emotions balanced.
RELATED: The Importance Of Deep Breathing
3. Self-Actualization and Self-Awareness
With a better level of self-awareness, you begin to understand why you feel a certain way or why you behave in a particular way. As you start to learn more and understand this concept, you have the opportunity to actually change things about yourself so you can create the life you want and deserve.
Self-awareness is being conscious, and this empowers you to make changes and build on areas in your life you want to improve on. You don’t have to develop chronic stress because of uncertainties in your life when you know what goals to achieve.
Self-actualization is a little different, it’s the realization of your greatest talents and achieving your greatest potential. By being present and authentic to your true self, you can grow, develop, and embrace the unknown.
4. Get Moving
Your emotions can take a toll on your body, and likewise, what you do with your body has the power to boost your mood, make you feel happy, or cause you to feel sluggish and tired. Just getting up and moving can have a massive effect on the body and the mind.
Heading to a yoga class or laying out the mat at home can do wonders for the mind-body connection. Yoga has been shown to create a greater sense of wellbeing, improve self-confidence, and increase feelings of relaxation.
How yoga affects the mind and body is through releasing muscle tension and improving blood flow to help your organs work better. It helps you produce more endorphins to balance out the production of cortisol in your body—more happy hormones, less stress.
5. Heal Your Gut
Your gut microbiome is actually responsible for creating neurotransmitters.
This is what is often called the gut-brain connection, which means the bacteria in your gut can influence your mood.
Too much bad bacteria in your digestive tract may result in certain diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and leaky gut.
So if you have too much bad bacteria in your gut, you’ll notice your brain feels foggy, or you might even feel depressed. It’s so important to have enough good bacteria in your gut to keep your body and brain healthy.
That’s why you might want to consider taking a probiotic supplement. Sunwarrior Soil Based Organism Probiotics are spores that come in a natural shell that is resistant to stomach acid.
These SBO spores seed in the lower intestine where warm temperatures and moisture stimulate germination for reproduction in your digestive tract. That essentially means the good bacteria increase exponentially from 10 billion to 100 billion making these probiotics far more effective at increasing the levels of good bacteria in your gut.
Plant gratitude and harvest happiness by watching this video from Sunwarrior:
The mind is powerful and it’s no surprise it can have such a huge effect on the body. By understanding your mind-body connection, you can look to use tools that help support overall wellbeing and promote feelings of inner peace, such as yoga for the mind and body.
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Are you practicing mindfulness and meditation to improve your mind-body connection? Share your stress management tips in the comments section below!
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Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research.. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.
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