We are our thoughts – We forget the gravity of what such a concept tells us. When we are uncomfortable, our bodies give away this secret to others. The lie detector test was created to measure our bodies’ physiological changes – changes which happen when our thoughts act as catalysts for such a change. How we’re feeling affect our immune functioning; we are more susceptible to diseases when we are sad, depressed, or angry. Our bodies and bodily reactions are so closely tied to our thoughts! How strong of a connection exists between the mind and body? Many of us believe that our physical state affect our feelings; that is, when we’re sick, we’re miserable. Many believe this cause and effect relationship is unidirectional. In reality, our feelings, thoughts, and even our environments have a multi-directional effect on each other. This is what the mind-body connection is all about.
Consider patients who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These individuals have endured horrendous acts of violence and intrusion to their bodies, minds, and integrity of their presence in this world. Scientists have recently begun to understand how intertwined the mind and body are. Many individuals who suffer from PTSD cannot explain or verbalize what happened in the past and in their trauma. In fact, in a subconscious attempt to protect themselves, individuals bury their trauma so deeply in their memories that the memories are all but lost. Still many others find themselves experiencing what psychologists call dissociations, whereby the patients cannot integrate different parts of their bodies to feel whole – e.g., they feel that their arms are separate from their bodies, they rise out of their bodies and feel like they are watching the room from outside of the body. Our physiological states and experiences are so intricately connected to our thoughts.
How we choose to apply this knowledge to our personal development and in our journeys is up to us. Understanding that what we think affects how our bodies react requires us to make changes if we want to increase our quality of life and body functioning.
- Acknowledge that our minds wander – this is completely natural! Thus, when we have thoughts that negatively affect our perception (of ourselves, our world, or others), understand that our bodies instantaneously react and molecules align themselves to these thoughts – this is out of our control. However, it is our responsibility and within our discipline to notice these thoughts and practice adding thoughts that are in our control. That is, add two positive thoughts for every negative thought.
- Take care of our bodies! Proper nutrition and exercise are critical for positive emotional states. Have you ever noticed how grumpy you feel when you haven’t had breakfast or lunch? It is much more difficult to react kindly and positively to others or to ourselves, when we haven’t been fed appropriate nutrition. Likewise, our bodies were created to move. When our bodies stay dormant, like water that is dormant and becomes rancid, our bodies will do the same. After all, our bodies are made of 50-75% of water! Feed your bodies, engagement in physical movement (run, walk, dance – whatever gets you moving).