What do we mean when we refer to the “Mind-Body Connection”? It’s a term often used to describe how the way we think, feel, and behave all impacts our physical health and how our physical wellbeing can impact our mood and thinking.
When we are faced with difficult scenarios and we experience anxiety, this can cause physiological symptoms such as digestive issues or increased blood pressure.
Have there been times when you have been unwell and noticed a change in your thinking or mood? Have you experienced periods of low mood and unexplained accompanying aches and pains? These can all be examples of the mind-body connection. It is therefore important to monitor both your physical and emotional health and the interplay between them.
There is a body of research indicating that looking after your mental health can impact your overall health and that working on your physical health can improve emotional wellbeing.
Specific mind-body focused activities can be used to enhance your emotional health and wellbeing and reduce the likelihood of illness by improving your immune system.
These can include:
- Relaxation exercises
- Regular movement (Pilates and yoga are particularly good for this)
- Guided imagery
- Adequate nutrition (research suggests there is a gut-brain connection which can impact concentration, attention, processing information and memory)
So, how can we get better at checking in with our bodies if it’s not something we generally do?
We can try things like:
- Breathing slowly in and out (find Dr Tara’s Abdominal Breathing video in the Wellbeing Hub (6. Preparing for Exam Season) in your Nido App)
- A gentle body scan
- Grounding exercises
- Purposeful movement (walk, stretching)
- Remembering to see your GP/health practitioner regularly
- Not “sitting” on any nagging issues (such as untreated pain or symptom e.g. chronic pain can impact mood)
As always, remember your ‘wellbeing baseline’ to help you maintain your mind-body connection:
- Connection with others
Even when the world may seem unstable, you can control what you do with and put in your body!
P.s. If you’re a Nido resident, make sure to download the Nido App and check out the Wellbeing Hub, curated with Dr Tara Quinn-Cirillo, for more info on your wellbeing baseline and these mind-body connection techniques – watch out for more technique videos coming soon!
Nido x Dr Tara-Quinn Cirillo