The Mind-Body Connection

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Cathryn Todd

The Mind-Body Connection

Posted by Cathryn Todd 2099 Days Ago

It is becoming more widely recognized that there is a connection between our thoughts and feelings, and how they affect us physically, and ultimately determine the state of our health.  There is a lot of media attention on the foods we eat and how our environment can affect us.  Issues such as obesity, stress, depression, anxiety and chronic health problems are regularly highlighted on the radio and TV.  Therefore we have no excuses not to address our own environmental concerns, i.e. what we do and how we live affects our mental and physical health.  However, if it was so easy, we would all be doing it.  So what stops us changing the things that affect our health?

We are very complicated beings and are influenced by our environment on many levels, externally and internally.  The external factors may be more easily fixed, however, that depends on circumstances and the internal factors, i.e. your irrational mind. 

You may be aware that the mind and body are connected by the Central Nervous System from the Enteric Nervous System in the Gut (called the second brain) to the brain in your head.  Think about the statement ‘I know it in my gut’; then you may get some understanding how communication travels between our two separate brains.  Are you confused yet?  Maybe part of you understands this, and if that is so it is most likely your gut feeling, rather than your head. 

How does how environment affect this communication between gut and head?  What you may find most surprising, it is mostly your internal environment, i.e. your own thoughts and belief system, which has been further influenced by your own DNA. This will have been externally influenced by our ancestors, and the environmental factors that were around in past generations as well as our own. 

Do you often feel that life is moving too fast, and you can’t keep up, are you still being influenced by your parents and grandparents beliefs and actions whilst attempting to move with the changes around you.  An example, in point, technology – can you keep up with it?

All the factors discussed here influence our coping mechanisms and ultimately our levels of stress, resulting in health concerns.  If our ‘gut feeling’ doesn’t match up with what our head says, then chaos erupts.  Our internal beliefs, attitudes and responses are triggered and usually we revert back to the norm. This can result in inappropriate or child-like coping skills leaving us feeling helpless and out of control. 

The good news is that change is always possible.  Education is well documented as a way of creating positive change in people.  If we learn new things about ourselves as well as about our environment, that new awareness opens doors for us.  Reading this article may have already started the process for you, and started you on a journey into finding out more about the mind-body connection and how it affects you and your health.