How does a strong mind affect the body
Whenever the idea of a mind and body connection is discussed in relation to our health, people often think about more alternative types of practices. Often classified as complementary and alternative medicine, activities like yoga or meditation are the most common ways for individuals to tap into this mind-body element.
While many types of practices can help us to tune into our physical well being, scientists have found that our thoughts can impact our health from a more direct standpoint. Not only does our mental health play a role in our overall level of health, but the way we think about our own physical activity can actually shape our outcomes.
For better or for worse, our minds and bodies are interconnected. It is up to us to become aware of our mind-body connections and to develop a loving and harmonious relationship between the two. Your mind and body can keep you healthy or not, and while it is not total, we do have control over how we think and react to the things around us. Find out some amazing facts about the mind-body connection.
The Mind Body Connection
While it’s not entirely surprising, the aspect of mental health and its link to physical health isn’t as widely discussed as you might think. However, according to the Merriam-Webster definition of the word “health,” elements of mind, body, and spirit are all encompassed within this one word. Examining your own mental health can often shine a light on how your emotional state is affecting your body.
Mental illness is becoming an increasingly common condition, as nearly 44 million people are affected by a mental health concern in any given year. These diagnoses can range from mild depression to paranoia or schizophrenia, and the ways in which symptoms manifest themselves can vary dramatically. The common thread, however, is that whatever may be affecting us mentally also shows up in our bodies.
Let’s examine depression, a well-known issue that plagues many people around the world. Physical symptoms of this condition can include insomnia, chronic fatigue, and even aches and pains throughout your body. On a wider scale, those with mental health concerns can be subject to obesity, asthma, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
How can my emotions affect my health
Your body responds to the way you think, feel, and act. This is one type of “mind/body connection.” When you are stressed, anxious, or upset, your body reacts in a way that might tell you that something isn’t right. For example, you might develop high blood pressure or a stomach ulcer after a particularly stressful event, such as the death of a loved one.
Case Study About Exercise
While the mind-body link is fascinating, you may be wondering how it relates to your specific health challenges. Perhaps you are conscious of your mental health and take measures to create balance in your life. You might even exercise a few times per week but find that losing weight or lowering your blood pressure seems to be out of reach. Once again, how you think about your health may actually be contributing to the effects you’re seeing.
Scientists at Stanford University embarked upon a 21-year project which examined 61,000 adults and their patterns of thought around exercise. The data collected included how often the participants engaged in physical activity as well as how they felt about their own efforts compared to their peers.
Some of the individuals died during the study from a wide range of health issues, but the overall trend that was discovered is quite surprising. Those who thought they were not engaging in as much activity as their peers actually died younger than others, despite implementing the exact same amount of exercise as others.
Beyond Just Mental Health
This connection between how we think and how we feel is even further proven with the study of psychosomatic pain, a condition where the body and mind are intimately linked to a particular set of emotions and symptoms. Many who struggle with this disorder are often sent from doctor to doctor, as it’s difficult for Western medical practitioners to diagnose and treat it. However, as more research develops, it’s becoming clear that a true mind-body link can be attributed to these conditions.
Chronic pain has been linked to psychosomatic causes, as the mind can produce or exacerbate physical symptoms. John Sarno, a leading expert in psychosomatic medicine, developed a theory that many symptoms are an unconscious distraction to aid in repression of deep emotional issues. In layman terms, people start to feel physical pain rather than experience emotional pain. There have been hundreds of cases of different health issues, ranging from temporary blindness, muscle pain, inability to walk, etc, that have been tied back to psychosomatic reasons.
Our Bodies React To How We Think
“All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”–Buddha. In other words, if we are constantly thinking negative, self-destructive thoughts, our bodies will follow suit. Emotional and mental imbalance can start as something like stress-induced headaches, tight shoulders, and a sore upper back, and lead to unhealthy weight gain or loss, insomnia, and high blood pressure. On the other hand, we can make a conscious effort to think more positively and to develop healthy coping mechanisms for life’s stress and trials. Over time, the state of our emotional and mental health can hurt or help the body’s immune system.
Food Affects Both Our Bodies & Minds
It goes back to that old saying, “We are what we eat.” Every single morsel or liquid passing through our lips has some sort of effect on our brains. Our nutritional intake, every day, can have huge impacts –- both negative and positive — on how we feel, thanks mostly to the chemical serotonin. In a nutshell, when serotonin levels are high, we’re happier, and when they’re low, we become depressed.
Eating too many carbs and sugar can decrease sensitivity to serotonin, which leads to bad moods, and eventually obesity. To balance serotonin levels, eating protein can be the solution, especially before carb-intake. Instead of eating a sugary pick-me-up midday, go for a snack high in protein to keep the mood positive and energy up, avoiding a crash later.
Regular Sleep Is A Must For Mind And Body
Aside from food and exercise, sleep also plays an enormous role in maintaining healthy serotonin levels, and keeping our minds and bodies happy with each other. Serotonin’s primary action in the body is to sedate, therefore, it is closely tied to how energy is — or is not — expended (i.e. exercise and sleep). Without sleep, our brains can be negatively affected, by messing with our brain’s response to serotonin. In other words, it is important to keep up a consistent sleeping pattern, in order to keep the mind and body healthy.4
How does a strong mind affect the body. How does a strong mind affect the body. How does a strong mind affect the body. How does a strong mind affect the body. How does a strong mind affect the body