The Mind-Body Connection is Amazing!

No matter where you live in the world, one thing remains the same: you do things. You might walk your dog around the block. You might drive to watch a friend or family member play a game. If you are really brave, you might even perform at Karaoke! Whether you are a teen in Vaughan, a parent in Vancouver, or a teacher in Halifax, this article applies to you!

Mind-Body Connection Explained

Have you ever thought about how what you are doing affects how you feel? And how you feel affects what you do? This is known as the mind-body connection – the reality that your physical and mental selves are intricately connected.

Think about a time that you felt anxious – did your stomach bother you? Did you find your palms getting sweaty? How about this – have you ever had a stomach ache and then worried you will vomit? If so, that’s ok – you are normal! Sometimes it is our emotions that impact how we feel physically and sometimes it is the other way round.

As a baseball coach in Thornhill, Ontario for children and teens, I soon discovered that when a player is hit by a ball, something interesting happens … no, not their pain. That is not a good thing. What is interesting is how a player might be lying on the ground immobile … until their coach walks over. The player then finds a way to get up, brush themselves off, and continue playing. They might still be sore and have a bruise. But somehow, in an instant, they found the ability to keep going.

Likely, when they are on the ground their mind is focused on their pain which can make the pain feel worse. When the coach comes out, it is reassurance that they are ok and their focus shifts away from their physical pain. In other words, a change in their mental focus had a big impact on how they felt physically.

Here’s the really amazing part: it means that when our minds and bodies work together, they can help us get to a very relaxing place.   Once we understand that the mind and body are one, we can practice exercises that help strengthen our mind-body connection.

One way to achieve this is by a progressive muscle relaxation exercise. Here is an example of a man who could benefit from some relaxation.

To relax you might already have all the tools you need and they are with you wherever you go. And to help you get started, here are some recordings that you can use starting today!

Of course, the mind-body connection can help us deal improve mental health in other ways too. Learn how martial arts can help you combat anxiety!

A great topic that is important when understanding the mind-body connection is mindfulness.

Finally, for more information on anxiety in general this article might be helpful. It is one of my original ones and still does the job!

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