Healthy Body = Healthy Mind
A healthy body can lead to a healthier mind and visa versa. “We feel emotions in our bodies,” wrote Dr. Arthur Barsky, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in his book Worried Sick: Our Troubled Quest for Wellness.
Dr Barsky also writes: “We ‘burn’ with anger, ‘tremble’ with fear, feel ‘choked up’ with sadness; our ‘stomachs turn’ with revulsion. Everyone tends to experience unpleasant emotions as unpleasant bodily symptoms and thus to feel physically distressed when emotionally distressed.”
Unfortunately, that’s the bad news. However, we have the power to change negative thoughts and feelings into positive, rational, motivating ones, and thereby promote a healthy mind and body.
We should consider this transformation, which is part of emerging psychology fields focused on mind-body health, because it can boost our chances of achieving our life goals, including becoming fitter and healthier.
A change of mind can make a real difference in our lives.
The connection between healthy body and mind
A doctor in China observed that illnesses often followed periods of frustration in their patients’ lives over 4,000 years ago, leading to the development of mind-body medicine. Today in western societies like the U. S., medical professionals are also of the opinion that emotions, life events, and coping skills have a profound effect on health.
In exciting new fields such as psychoneuroimmunology and behavioural cardiology, mind-body medicine is becoming increasingly important.
Psychoneuroimmunology examines the relationship between our thoughts and emotions and our brain chemistry.
In behavioural cardiology, psychological and social factors are considered in assessing and reducing cardiovascular risk. Many reasons make it an important field, including preventing recurring heart attacks, improving recovery times for patients, and improving family support.
Did you know that chronic stress can make you fact …and sick
There is a great deal of concern about the long-term consequences of living an anxiety-filled existence. When chronic emotional and psychological stress persists, it can lead to:
- Promote the storage of fat
- Salt is retained in the body
- The body’s resistance to cancer, infection, and illness is destroyed
- Result in infertility and dysfunctional sexual behaviour
- Diabetic exacerbation
- Cholesterol deposits in blood vessels
Heart rate is accelerated and blood pressure is increasing. The blood also thickens, which speeds up the rate at which it clots, making us more susceptible to strokes and heart attacks.
Calming of the Mind
In an attempt to promote better mental health, major medical facilities are opening wellness divisions. These facilities offer treatments and assistance in stress management, relaxation training and many more therapy techniques.
Attitudes, thoughts and behaviours which are linked to a healthy mind and body.
The main goal of mind-body techniques is achieving a holistic approach to life known as stress resilience or stress hardiness. Stress hardiness is mainly associated with four personality traits which act as buffers for the impact of stress and improve our ability to deal with stressful situations. The above-mentioned personality traits are defined as follows:
Interest and curiosity in yourself, your work, your loved ones and the world around you.
The belief that instead of feeling hopeless and incompetent you have the ability to effectively respond to situations that arise in your life.
Instead of seeing change as frightening or fearing failure, see change as an exciting opportunity for growth.
Create the enduring assurance that you are understood and validated by those you are close to.
Healthy mind, healthy body
Other attitudes, feelings, and behaviours that are linked with overall health include:
Social support provides protection against the effects of stress.
By speaking to others or keeping a journal, emotional disclosure assists people in coping with stressful events. People who use these strategies also have fewer health problems and lower blood pressure compared to those who don’t.
Humour has been proven to have stress reducing qualities and also reduces the body’s physiological responses to stress.
Healthy choices such as maintaining a healthy diet and exercising are crucial for optimal health.
Pritkin Longevity center + spa. (2018). Healthy Mind, Healthy Body. [Online]. pritkin.com. Last Updated: 2018. Available at: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body [Accessed 30 September 2022].
Dr. Arthur Barsky. (1998). Worried Sick: Our Troubled Quest for Wellness. Boston: Little Brown & Co. p.10.