When the mind and body really connect, a little miracle takes place. I really believe this. It just makes sense, and we’ve known this throughout the ages. For centuries, many people have believed there is a connection between what happens in our brains (usually through emotions) and physical health. It hasn’t been until recent years that science has proven this to be true, though. Think about it – when you’re under great stress, do you ever feel your best?
Health providers have run numerous clinical trials to prove the connection and show how mind-body therapies can be beneficial in managing pain, recovering from surgeries and helping to maintain overall wellness. What these studies have shown is more than just interesting. It’s life changing!
How Does the Mind-Body Connection Contribute to Health?
There is a close link between the body and mind, and we can use this to maintain and improve our health. When you take care of your emotions, you’re more likely to maintain better overall health. Your attitudes, beliefs and feelings like love, fear and anger, can cause physical reactions in your body. Emotions can affect blood chemistry, heart rate – actually every cell in your body. Emotions can also affect your body’s reaction to stress and can cause headaches, muscle aches and other physical problems. The connection is astounding! So just what can a strong, healthy mind-body connection do for you? It can:
- Reduce the instances or severity of some illnesses
- Speed recovery from illnesses
- Help you better manage pain
- Allow you to cope better with diagnoses
- Put you more in touch with your body
What Can a Strong Mind-Body Connection Help With?
When you have a healthy mind-body connection, you possess great power – power over your own life. So what can a strong mind-body connection help with? It can help you manage:
- Addictive habits
- Energy levels
How Can I Develop a Strong Mind-Body Connection?
Developing a stronger mind-body connection is easier than you think. Here are some ways to work on it:
- Use relaxation exercises. Incorporating breathing, mental body scanning and intentional thought exercises can calm the body and create greater awareness. For guidance on relaxation exercises, consider working with a wellness coach.
- Practice meditation or guided imagery. Meditation has profound effects on the body and calms the mind like nothing else can. You can buy CDs, DVDs or try apps and downloads to help you advance your practice.
- Try a massage. If you need to relax your body, get a massage! It will release endorphins, break up muscle tension and improve lymphatic function to beat stress and its effects.
- Dive into a spiritual practice. Getting involved in spirituality can bring about calm, acceptance and an overall peace. When you get in touch with your spiritual side, you’ll be surprised at the benefits!
- Cultivate a hobby. Have you ever noticed that when you dive into something you love and it feels like play, you can get lost and completely lose track of time? Your body benefits from this state of focused relaxation and calm. Get lost in your garden. Paint an abstract. Mold a creation. Knit a blanket.
- Connect with nature. Sometimes just stepping outside into nature calms the mind and spirit. When you’re at peace, your connection grows stronger.
- Exercise. Moving your body while focusing the mind brings about physical and mental changes. Whether you are a runner or simply like a stroll on a pretty spring day, move your body to gain numerous health benefits.
As a wellness coach, I’m here to guide you through practices to help you be your healthiest you — mind, body and spirit. If you would like more information on how we might work together, contact me. And if you are ready, we’ll walk the journey.
A nurse for more than 25 years, Karen David is a Certified Wellness Coach and Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist. She brings her passion for well living and calm presence to empower others in health and wellness. Karen is CEO of Live Life Well, LLC.
This article is for informational purposes only. Practices, services or products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.