Having a healthy mind-body connection can help someone during even the most stressful time. Knowing when your body and your mind are at risk, and being able to identify what triggers the reactions can be beneficial for a more fulfilling life. Stress can affect the body negatively, making the connection all that more important. It has long been thought that the mind and body are two separate entities. However in recent years this thought process has begun to shift showing that there is a connection between the two.
What is Mind-Body Connection?
As previously stated, there is a link between physical ailments in the body, and factors in the mind. Obviously some things, such as a broken bone, are not caused or affected by the mental portion of the mind-body connection. However, have you ever noticed how when you feel extreme amounts of stress or other emotionally taxing feelings you begin to physically feel ill? Like a stomach ache or headache for instance. A lot of chronic conditions such as these have been linked to the body’s physical reactions to stress. This is what is considered to be the mind-body connection. Emotional health and its effects on physical health.
How Does Stress Affect Overall Well Being?
Stress management is the key to having a healthy balance in your mind-body connection. But how does stress really affect your overall health and wellness? When your body perceives something as a threat to its safety or comfort, it reacts with what is known as the “fight or flight” reaction. This means it is trying to decide whether to stay and fight off the threat or run away. This stress caused by the perceived threat can cause chemicals in the brain to release, and shift from where they usually are making things like digestion suffer. This is when the resulting stomach ache can occur. Stress has a physical effect on the body, whether you know it or not.
Ways to Improve Stress
Improving stress is the first line of defense in maintaining a healthy mind-body connection. When you implement positive stress management techniques into your daily routine, you are more likely to feel physically healthier. There are many different stress relief tactics that someone can use to better handle day-to-day anxiety. Here are just a few:
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation are holistic treatment approaches consisting of targeted breathing and movements. These actions can help to trigger relaxation. Yoga can move the body from the fight or flight response into what is known as rest and digest. Meaning that rather than fighting off some possible threat caused by a stressor, you can make it through it with minimal damage to the physical well being and continue on your day to day functionality regardless of the stress. Yoga can also increase the production of the neurotransmitter known as GABA. This neurotransmitter is known to help include relaxation.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy in which someone is taught how to change their thought processes. Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of the stressors in day to day life, essentially exacerbating the feelings of stress, you learn to change those negative thoughts to positive ones, finding a solution to the stressor. By identifying the way thought patterns occur, and working to change them to a more positive flow, it will make it almost second nature to think of the positive vs the negative.
It goes without saying that nutrition plays a part in mind-body connection. When you eat fatty, greasy foods, it affects the brain and body in such a way that you could potentially feel sluggish and fatigued. More nutritious and well rounded meals will provide you with energy and nutrients needed to maintain a healthy state of mind. This mindset is necessary for the combating stress and negativity in order to have a healthy body.
Progressive Relaxation Technique
Progressive relaxation is a technique in which you gradually tighten and release different muscle groups. Focusing on the specific group of muscles and the actions of tensing and relaxing them, in order to produce an overall feeling of relation and improving the body’s reaction to stress for a healthier mind-body connection.
Healthy Mind-Body Connection in South Florida
Having a healthy correlation between the mind and body can help relieve even the most chronic of physical illnesses. Stress can be a major factor in some of the ailments you may be experiencing. Learning new techniques for stress management can help you to find relief from what may be causing you discomfort. At the Neuroscience Research Institute, we offer a wide range of options to learning stress management. If you or a loved one are struggling with mind-body connection, contact us today.