Mind Body Connection

Developed by the Partners in Wellbeing
The mind-body connection is the link between your thoughts, attitudes, behaviours, and your physical health.

Sometimes referred to as the “body’s command centre” or the “human supercomputer”, your brain is a remarkable and complex organ. But the brain is not a machine operating separately from the rest of your body—the two are deeply intertwined.

Scientific studies are constantly revealing that the hormones and neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) associated with emotion can also have physical effects.

When you are stressed, the “sympathetic nervous system” contributes to what is known as the “fight or flight” response. The body shifts its energy resources toward fighting off a life threat or fleeing from an enemy. The “sympathetic nervous system” signals the adrenal glands to release hormones called adrenalin (epinephrine) and cortisol.  This was necessary 10000’s of years ago when constant physical danger was always around the corner.  Beware of the saber tooth tiger!

 

In your modern world you may still feel stressed even if there’s no physical “danger” to escape from. Releasing these hormones too frequently can have negative long-term effects on your body, including:

 

  • Weakened immune response
  • Digestive problems
  • Healing more slowly
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Sleep patterns
  • Appetite
  • Mental health issues

 

While the connection between stress and health is easy to understand, it’s harder to imagine the way you think and what you believe can affect your health too.

 

Negative thinking patterns are easier to have than positive.  In fact, it is three times easier to have a negative thought than a positive thought.  This is simply because you are wired to think about the saber tooth tiger, and flee it, rather than looking and focusing on the beautiful rainbow in the sky.  For your survival it paid to think of danger.

 

This negative inner voice can have mental and physical health consequences, and those types of thought patterns are difficult to break. That’s where mind-body therapies come in to help.

 

To build resilience and become more positive focus on three positives every day, even if they are just small like a sunny sky, meeting a friend or going for a walk.

 

Quickly assess your thoughts and actions and ask yourself “is what I am doing or thinking helping me or harming me?” i.e. “will catching up with a friend when I am tired help or harm me?”  Is being negative in your thoughts about a particular person helpful or harmful?  This gives you back power and choice in your life and helps you to become more positive.

 

Deep breathing and relaxation will activate the other part of your nervous system, “the parasympathetic nervous system”, which sends a signal to your brain to tell the anxious part that you’re safe and don’t need to use the fight, flight, or freeze response. Deep breathing gets more oxygen to your thinking brain.

You can practice quick self-care and meditations provided by the PIW Peak Bodies team to help relax and release your nervous system and soothe your mental and physical wellbeing.

Box Breathing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AnWzvt1PUU

Total body relaxation for sleep meditation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQHWXczkavI

Appreciate the simple things meditation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teSV2AqP6vk


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