How Are The Mind And Body Connected?
Our mind and body work together like a machine. Our thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs all help us come to life as we step into the world each day—informing our actions and how we physically get through the day (tired, anxious, stressed, alert, energized, etc.). When we use terms like mind-body connection, we are really talking about how everything you do, say, and feel, connects together to make you, you.
What Is The Mind?
Often, when we think of the term ‘mind,’ we see a mental image of a brain. But, the mind is more than your physical brain; it is the compilation of our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and more. Some parts of our mind live in the subconscious—the things that we don’t even know we are thinking or feeling. We can support the health of our minds in various ways. Meditation, prayer, art, and therapy are all wonderful ways to give our minds some TLC.
What Is The Body?
The body is a little more literal. It is what carries us every day throughout the world. Our body encompasses how our organs function together to digest food, how our brain is in terms of its physical health, our muscles, flexibility, etc. We can take care of bodies through exercise, healthy diets, massages, skincare, and the like. But, the missing link here, is how the mind can aid in keeping the body healthy and visa versa.
What Is The Mind-Body Connection?
You’ve heard of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, right? “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” The sentiment—though not physics-related—is true with our minds and bodies as well. What we think and feel impacts our physicality, and what we do impacts our minds. You can actually see this come to life in several studies. But, why not think about your unique experiences. How many times has a long walk, jog, yoga session, or workout lifted your mood? A 2006 article in The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry states, “Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.” We have heard first-person stories in our clubs of how members have transformed their lives by focusing on self-care, and that is why we are so passionate about it. Yes, Chuze Fitness is a gym, but we are also a proponent for focusing on a holistic health journey.
Examples of the Mind-Body Connection
Stretching to Reduce Stress
Our well-being is determined by how we treat more than just our bodies. Even The American Psychological Association stated that tight muscles are a reaction to stress. With chronic stress, this could mean that you live in a constant state of pain. Stretching and yoga can relax your body and reduce stress, plus it feels great!
Meditation to Reduce Pain
It is interesting to think that focusing inward and practicing mindfulness can help with physical pain, but it is true. A 2012 peer-reviewed article in Neuroscience Letters states, “Recently, mindfulness meditation has been found to attenuate pain through some of these mechanisms including enhanced cognitive and emotional control, as well as altering the contextual evaluation of sensory events.” Meaning, meditation can help reduce pain by changing your response to it, and teaching you how to get through it with a little more ease. In one study, eight weeks of mindfulness training improved pain symptoms in patients with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), which attributed to reducing anxiety and emotional reactions to the symptoms. This article is a wonderful resource for highlighting how our mind impacts our bodies.
We have resources to enhance your mind-body connection on iChuze Fitness—our online wellness platform equipped with meditation, self-care exercises, or workouts. We also have a ton of amenities to help you focus on self-care in all of our locations. Whether you join the Chuze Family online, in our clubs, or both, we are here to support you. Try out iChuze Fitness for free today.