Wednesday, 2 April 2014
Beware of the Mind-Body Relationship
There is a link between the mind and the body known about by some for thousands of years. The German philosopher, Goethe, once said: “the mind governs the body”. If you can learn to maintain a balance between the principles of good health, and the often conflicting demands of your personality and lifestyle, you can lead a life free of disease and suffering. On the other hand, if you simply let yourself go freewheel, making no effort to guide your life, you will remain in a constant state of imbalance whereby you experience setbacks of all kinds including mental and physical ones.
Your body and your life are merely reflections of your mind. It is the mind alone that shapes and determines your destiny. Even the most highly skilled doctors or surgeons, with the most modern equipment and medications, can only stimulate your inner healing powers, they cannot cure you by themselves. It is only through the power of the mind that you can achieve the real healing of both your physical and psychological health problems.
Your mental or emotional state has a bearing on your health and vice versa. They are interdependent and support for one has an impact on the other. Lots of people are overweight, inactive, stressed and make poor food choices causing feelings of fatigue, anger, frustration and depression. Ignoring the mind-body connection over time can lead to serious mental or physical health problem requiring treatment or hospitalisation.
The following facts emanating from studies carried out in the USA and UK further confirm the mind-body connection:
· Two- thirds of all visits to a doctor are for stress- related causes.
· Hostility at home or at work can have a bigger impact on heart disease than being overweight, cigarette smoking or having high cholesterol levels.
· People high in optimism were less likely to develop heart disease than their pessimistic counterparts.
· Employees receiving mental health counselling were 35% less likely to have a physical complaint than those without.
· People with high levels of anxiety have a much higher risk of developing a heart complaint.
· Talk therapy is more effective for anxiety and depression than drug therapy.
Without being too pernickety about it, here are some practical things you can do daily to ensure your mind-body balance is in equilibrium:
1. Try and find the root cause of anything affecting your mind. Your problem could possibly arise from a toxic substance such as mercury or lead, vitamin B12 or magnesium deficiency, reaction to a chemical or an allergy you have developed. By finding the cause, you are in a position to take remedial action.
2. Learn how to relax or engage in activities which promote relaxation. Relaxation exercises, meditation, relaxation music, yoga, crafts, hobbies and sports can all play a part in reducing stress.
3. Actively practice bringing about a state of calm. This might involve deep breathing, muscle relaxation, meditation, having a massage, making love, taking a bath or sauna, or going for a walk in the woods or by the sea.
4. Do some daily exercise. It is a powerful way of reducing toxic substances in the body which may be affecting the mind, and is a lot more efficient in this respect than a prescription drug.
5. Eat a balanced diet. Eliminate anything containing refined sugars, caffeine and cut down on alcohol consumption. Eat a least 5 portions of fruit or vegetables daily: and try and derive most of the proteins you eat from vegetables or fish instead of meat.
6. Take a multivitamin and mineral tablet daily as insurance against a deficiency in the diet. Make sure there is no deficiency in vitamins C, B5, B6, B12 or the mineral magnesium.
7. Use calming herbs in the diet. Valerian, peppermint, camomile, passionflower, lavender, lemon balm are all in this category.
8. Keep well hydrated by drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily. Water is the most efficient way of expelling toxins from the body. You could reduce the amount of water you consume if you drink green tea, ginger tea, fruit or vegetable juices.
9. Examine your attitudes and responses to problems you encounter regularly in order to reduce stress. Can you possibly overcome setbacks in your life with a sense of humour?
10. Build a network of friends, family and community. They are your most powerful allies in achieving long-term health. Interaction with a pet such as a cat or a dog can also have a positive influence on heath.
You now have enough ideas outlined above to begin to create a better relationship between the mind and the body, so that the effect of them working in harmony has a positive impact on your overall health and wellness.