The mind and the body are not two separate entities.
Although they are often treated that way. Physical health and emotional health are intimately intertwined in what’s known as the mind-body connection. Communication between mind and body happens when thoughts create emotions and feelings which in turn produce chemical messengers, such as hormones and neurotransmitters. Those messengers are released throughout
Physical health and emotional health are intimately intertwined in what's known as the mind-body connection.
Our thoughts and beliefs impact our mood, our body’s chemistry, and biology. They play a major role in influencing our stress levels and physical health. If you’ve ever felt your stomach tighten up when you were anxious, you’ve experienced the mind-
body connection. The mind, peripheral nervous system, immune system, and all the organs in our bodies along with all emotional responses we have, based on our thoughts - all share a common chemical language and are constantly communicating with one another. In short- our thoughts can influence and even control our health.
What exactly is meant by the word "mind?"
It's important to note that "mind" is not synonymous with brain. The mind consists of mental states such as thoughts, emotions, beliefs, attitudes, and images. The brain is the hardware that allows us to experience these mental states.
Mental states can be fully conscious or subconscious. We can have emotional reactions to situations without being aware of why we are reacting. Each mental state has a physiology associated with it, a chemical reaction in the form of an emotion, which has a positive or negative effect felt in the physical body. For example, the mental state of anxiety causes you to produce stress hormones.
When the mind replays negative- false beliefs, anxiety (i.e. “I’m not good enough” or I am so stressed”) , or worries repeatedly, this creates a neurobiological repose, or ‘molecules of emotions’ that cascades throughout the body and communicate via a very large nerve called the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve connects to many organs, facial muscles, and the major highway from brain and the gut in a two- way communication pattern. The brain talks to the gut and the gut talks to the brain as it innervates the heart and many other organs and systems in the body. Chronic stress over time, or mental dis- ease, leads to disease in the body. Our thoughts alone can create disease. Conversely, they can create wellness!
Mind-body therapy focuses on becoming more conscious of mental states and using this increased awareness to guide our mental states and bodily states back to optimal health and homeostasis.