Your Mind-Body Connection

Use Your Mind to Improve Your Body

According to Psychology Today, "there's a clear connection between the way your brain thinks and the way your body feels - and just as you can use your body to reduce your psychological distress, you can use your mind to improve your body." Simply put, change the way you think and you may improve the way you feel. 

Change the way you think and you may improve the way you feel.

Try these 4 tips to strengthen your mind-body connection:

1. Expect Positive Outcomes

If you assume a treatment or change in lifestyle will have a positive outcome, you're more likely to find it helpful. Sometimes believing is seeing - results. Focus your energy on a positive outcome and the treatment or lifestyle change is likely to help.

2. Focus On (or Discover) Your Purpose in Life

People who have a sense of purpose in life are more likely to live healthier, longer. Some find their purpose through work, while others find it through helping others, creative pursuits, or something else entirely. Whatever has meaning to you and makes you feel "alive" can help you live a happier, healthier life.

3. Meditate

Meditation may have a positive effect on your emotional well-being. "When you meditate, you may clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress" explains The Mayo Clinic. Meditation may also have a positive effect on a medical condition you may have, "especially one that may be worsened by stress" says The Mayo Clinic.*

4. Laugh

"[Laughter] lights up the reward center of your brain and releases feel-good chemicals, including dopamine and endorphins" according to WebMD. Here are a few fun(ny) facts about laughing:

  • 10 to 15 minutes can burn up to 40 calories and increase your heart rate by 10% to 20%. 15 minutes per day can help you shed up to 4 pounds in a year
  • It may help with blood flow by releasing endorphins that trigger blood vessels to release nitric oxide, which loosens up your arteries so blood can flow more freely
  • It also may lower stress hormones (like cortisol and epinephrine) and raise a brain chemical that helps fight depression (serotonin)

 

*Meditation is not a replacement for traditional medical treatment, but it may be a helpful addition to your prescribed treatment plan.

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