Mind-Body Connection

PsychologyHealth Psychology

When a person visits a hospital or a physician, it’s usually for physical symptoms. During an examination, a physician realizes that some of the problems are predominantly physical in nature and can be treated after proper diagnosis. But in certain cases, a patient's suffering is not limited to physical symptoms only; along with that, his behavior and state of mind are also very important if he wants to cure that patient. These kinds of diseases help us establish the role of mind-body connection in a more concrete manner. Later, we will study how mind-body connection plays a vital role in both health and illness. One of the most important aspects of mind-body connection is the establishment of a bio-psychological method of treatment.


Mind Body Connection and Health

Health can be defined as the state of a person where he feels that his body and mind exhibit a perfect balance that makes him feel happy and relaxed. He performs all his work and activities without any difficulty. As we all know, a healthy mind makes a healthy body, because the mind is like the CPU. The command that our mind gives to our body, the body follows that command. So any disturbance at the level of mind brings derangement in our body, which may or may not be visible to us in the initial stages.


Some of the body’s systems exhibit the link of mind-body connection very clearly. These systems include the skin, the gastrointestinal system, the heart, the respiratory system, etc. For example, under stress, our circulatory system exhibits increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, excessive sweating, etc. and if the cycle of stress and anxiety continues, then this process becomes more frequent and can lead to other disorders too.

How do the mind and body affect each other?

It is always not the mind because of which our body exhibits signs and symptoms. In many conditions, like physical trauma, acute diseases, etc., the physical body is involved initially, and later it may or may not affect the mind. But the mind plays an important role in how we conduct ourselves during the course of such diseases. Like stress hormones, they are released when a person is suffering from a disease, but the level of stress hormone depends on the person's thoughts, his surroundings, and his economic and social factors too. If a person does not get proper medication due to poor financial conditions, then his health will not improve much as his stress levels are high. Similarly, if a person is reluctant and suspicious in nature, he avoids taking medicines. In such cases, cure is difficult to achieve.

The complete mechanism of how thoughts, feelings, reactions, etc. can cause physical changes is still unknown. Although there are some factors which are present to show how the mind and body affect each other. This includes:

Physical changes

Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline increase heart rate, sweating, trembling of limbs, breathlessness, etc., for a short period of time in situations where the human body is in "fight-flight" mode to cope with sudden fear, attack, or physical trauma. But the continuous release of stress hormones can weaken our immune system, slow down the healing process, and disturb the digestion process.

  Psychological changes

How a person thinks and believes is also crucial. As thinking patterns help in day to-day activities. A pessimist will always talk about the negative aspects of any work, while an over-thinker will take forever to complete a task and will never be satisfied with the end result. Similarly, self-criticism, labeling, predicting the future, jumping to conclusions, etc., all these thinking patterns affect our performance in personal and professional life too.

The mind-body connection has positive outcome

The effects of mind and body connection are not negative only. There are many positive effects of body on mind and mind on body. For example −

  • Relaxation
  • Exercise
  • Entertainment, pleasure, adventure, achievements etc.

How does the mind-body connection help in managing health?

It is a well-known fact that a healthy body houses a healthy mind. So we should be very careful about our physical wellness, and to achieve that, we should live a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and meditation, eating a well-balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that provide a sense of relaxation and happiness, such as painting, cooking, pottery, reading, and so on. Adopting these guidelines not only helps in maintaining good physical health but also helps in preventing chronic disorders.

Additionally, communication is crucial to a person's overall health. It promotes awareness among people, as well as within communities and throughout society. Maintaining social and cultural contact through communication also helps our minds feel successful.

Conclusion

Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease. The absence of any signs or symptoms doesn’t mean a person is healthy. His thoughts, behavior, conduct, and social interactions are all equally important to determining whether he is healthy or not. Mind and body are both interdependent on each other; any disturbance in mind is exhibited on the body and vice versa.

raja
Updated on 13-Oct-2022 11:19:47

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