The Mind-Body connection is the ability of the mind to influence the body. The mind continually has a powerful influence over the body. Thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and emotions of the mind can affect the physiological processes of the body. This can be in a negative direction where thoughts and feelings create pain, make pain worse or have an influence on developing a disease or making an illness worse. Conversely, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and emotions of the mind can reduce or alleviate pain and can assist the body’s processes of preventing, reducing or eliminating illness.
The Mind-Body connection can take place consciously or unconsciously.
Research with placebos has shown how powerfully thoughts, beliefs and faith can influence the physiological processes of the body without even realizing one is employing an array of Mind-Body interventions through the use of a placebo.
A choice of making conscious competent decisions for managing the Mind-Body connection gives you much more control over promoting health and well-being and managing pain.
“What you think is what you feel; and what you feel is what you create.”
The mind can influence the health of the body or the experience of pain in negative ways or can be a valuable asset in promoting the life and health that you deserve.
Identify your health and wellness concerns and adapt your Mind-Body tools and strategies to address your specific needs.
“If your body is screaming in pain, whether the pain is muscular contractions, anxiety, depression, asthma or arthritis, a first step in releasing the pain may be making the connection between your body pain and the cause. Beliefs are physical. A thought held long enough and repeated enough becomes a belief. The belief then becomes biology.” Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America By Day: Lessons Learned From Ultimate Betrayals And Unconditional Love
The body’s natural processes for healing and well-being can be activated and supported by Mind-Body interventions which reduce the level of stress hormones, boost the auto immune system, and promote a greater state of relaxation. The inner mind and body have an infinite wisdom for wellness and balance and they have a natural propensity to work efficiently together.
Disease and dis-ease in life are often a result of us getting in the way of our natural processes for health and healing. We get in the way by creating stress, ignoring the signals from the heart or body and filling our environment with physical or emotional toxins. When there is a disturbance with the body or mind, in part, we need to get out of the way and let natural healing and a return to balance take place.
To a large degree, our body and inner wisdom innately understands the processes of health, balance and healing. Most medicine, treatments or interventions primarily need to support what the body and infinite inner wisdom are fully capable of doing. Mind-Body interventions, particularly those that listen to the body, are particularly adept at supporting the natural order of wellness and balance.
“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
Positive Thoughts, Positive Beliefs, Positive Attitudes and Positive Feelings.
Positive thoughts and feelings are some of the most powerful Mind-Body interventions. What you think is what you feel and what you feel is what you create. Think positive thoughts while you’re coping with pain or an illness and you will create positive feelings. Be aware of those positive feelings. Take them in and bask in them like sunshine at a lovely seashore and you will promote recovery and healing. Positive activities with the mind are important to all Mind-Body interventions.
Positive thinking starts with noticing the positive, meaningful and pleasant things around you. Positive self-talk can greatly promote positive feelings and attitudes. The more one practices positive self-talk, the greater it becomes embedded as a perpetual unconscious loop of thinking and feeling good. Positive thinking and positive activities of the mind are indeed Mind-Body interventions that lend to reducing pain, preventing illness and assisting with the body’s natural healing processes.
Some mind-body interventions are more formal and might be more viewed as mind-body tools such as visualizations, guided imagery, breath work, gratitude and loving kindness and meditation.
We are commonly also using many Mind-Body Eastern systems that seek to co-ordinate our minds and bodies with the positive energy of our environment, systems like yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong. Along these lines, we might also employ affirmations, mantras, energy work, a spiritual connection, prayer, or self-hypnosis or grounding.
In addition, we might learn about progressive muscle relaxation and or shifting mindset through the promotion of positive thoughts, positive beliefs, positive attitudes and positive feelings.
You can learn to master many of these Mind-Body interventions though books and video. You can also seek workshops, seminars, webinars, coaching or counseling with a knowledgeable and experienced practitioner.
“A healer does not give a patient anything he or she does not already have. A healer simply awakens a part of the patient that has been sleeping. The power to heal is yours already. You can use external sources as ‘permission slips,’ but they are simply characters in the movie for which you have written the script. Whatever outside sources do to you or for you, you do to or for yourself.” Alan Cohen from Enough Already
Research has clearly shown that deep breathing techniques can trigger neurotransmitters and a cascade of proteins and hormones that reduce pain and stress and even stimulate the autoimmune system.
To ground and center is to be connected to yourself in a manner that allows you to be open to your inner wisdom and the natural processes of well-being, gaining insight and promoting the forces of transformation and healing. Fundamentally, grounding and centering is being aware in a calm, confident and empowered manner.
Physically you can be in a quiet environment or provide a sense of boundary within your own space. It can help to notice your feet rooted to the ground or, if you’re sitting in a chair, feel gravity holding you there and your arms and bottom comfortably supported. Deep breathing and noting your breath is a key component of increasing awareness of the environment inside of you and outside of you.
A mindful body scan can increase your physical and emotional inner self-awareness. Some people imagine a form of connection to the earth and the sky. One aspect of grounding is being aware of your internal energy sources and how you are connected to your environment.
“Give yourself the gift of five minutes of contemplation in all of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe.” Wayne Dyer