Benefits of a Mind/Body Connection
You inevitably know a person with a strong mind-body relationship. They act as a beacon of light and wellness, with the ability to inspire endlessly. Their mental strength is so impressive you wonder if they were just born that way.
It’s easy to think people exuding confidence, positivity, and strength have been given an innate gift. In reality, they just learned the power of honing a mind-body connection.
But how does one cultivate this connection? And why is it so helpful?
Signs of a misconnection between mind and body:
- Frequently injure yourself but can’t remember an event or pinpoint a cause
- Diet out of sync with what your body needs/craves, which can contribute to fatigue, general sense of digestive discomfort, frequent sickness
- Inability or struggle with pushing past challenges, physically or mentally “gives up easily”
- Stress easily overcomes you, contributes to a lack of sleep
- Struggle with a general sense of depression/anxiety
Although a strong mind-body connection doesn’t act as a cure-all, being informed about what is happening to your body can help you understand what it is you need to do to nourish your being into a better life.
Coordination between your mind and body doesn’t just “happen.” Being aware of your body and the changes that take place when you move, eat, rest, play, can prevent injury and lead to an overall healthier way of living. But if you’ve never really paid too close attention to this connection, where do you start?
Get curious about what your brain is doing when you’re moving. Mindful meditation can act as a way to gather information. Focus on each chakra carefully as you meditate, paying attention to each body center and imagining filling it with light. Think about how that place feels, what it looks like, and hold on to that for at least 30 seconds. Apply this meditation for every movement: when you’re driving, grip the steering wheel and notice the sensation in each finger. When you’re practicing yoga, tune in to each muscle, fiber, ligament, tendon, that is working while you flow through an asana. Intentionally feel the way your yoga instructor describes each movement. When you’re running, notice how your feet hit the ground and how the energy from the earth reverberates through your body, eventually escaping from the crown of your head. With each movement, allow the knowledge of that effort inform your mind as to how it is making you feel.
Seek Out a Mentor
Employing a mind body mentor can do wonders to your progress. An acupuncturist, bodyworker, yoga instructor, or coach can guide you through a deeper connection between mind and body. They can act as a third party in an effort to allow this connection to grow positively. Noticing when we tend to overthink or dwell on negativity is the first step, but replacing this behavior is the ultimate goal. Through a mind body mentor, exercises, treatments, and personalized study can aid this shift in perspective, leading to an increased awareness of what the mind and body are capable of when they are working together. This is especially evident in yoga and fitness where a mentor can assist you in pushing past your comfort zone while still staying safe physically.
Being kind to yourself and your body on your journey to self-discovery is key. Often times, we attempt to apply perfectionism to our mind-body connection, and negative thoughts tend to permeate our practices. “I can’t do this,” or “I’m not strong enough” can constantly inform our bodies that we can’t do something that we are actually more than capable of doing. Conversely, scolding ourselves for not thinking positively constantly can also sabotage our journey to wellness. Being kind to yourself is not only advantageous, it’s critical. Dedicating your practice to loving yourself exactly how you are is a great place to start. See yourself as a younger version and treat that child with nothing but love and acceptance. Speak to yourself as you would a child in need of nurturing.
Notice. Seek Out. Practice. Repeat. And most of all, love yourself enough to keep going.
Author: Sarah Ronau, Tahoma, CA