the body mind connection
"The mind and body are not separate units, but one integrated system. How we act and what we think, eat, and feel are all related to our health." - Bernie Siegel, M.D
The body-mind connection is the recognition that our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning. Physical changes in the body can be reflective of our emotional and mental state.
For example if we are stressed - it is common for our muscles to clench up, our breathing becomes more shallow and we may even start grinding our teeth without noticing. Stress can also impact our digestive system, energy levels, cause headaches and fatigue.
If we can tune into these types of physical cues throughout our day we can start to pick up on the circumstances, places or people that are making us feel out of balance and those that make us feel our best.
Staying connected to our physical body is also a way to keep us grounded in the present moment. When we find our mind worrying about the past or trying to predict the future, we can return to present state awareness by doing some type of physical movement or simply placing our attention on our breathe as we inhale and exhale.
Body Scan Practice
1. Take a comfortable position seated or laying down. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
2. Bring awareness to the body breathing in and out.
3. When you’re ready move your attention from the top of your head, down to the muscles in your face, neck, shoulders and chest.
4. Continue to move down through your body, focusing on releasing tension in your arms, hands and fingers. Notice sensations that arise in your mid-section, stomach, hips, pelvis, thighs, calves and all the way down to your ankles, feet and toes.
5. When you are ready, gently bring your attention back to the room.
6. Move your fingers and toes and then gently open your eyes.
By Amber Jane McCormick