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Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body

Clinical Psychologist, Sebnem Turkmen

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November 22, 2022

Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body

guy with apple on top of the head

Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body

Did you know that mind and body are connected? We generally tend to think that mind and body are two different concepts. But they can affect each other positively or negatively. When we talk about this connection, we talk about our thoughts, our point of views and our conscious and how powerfully they are affecting our biological system.

Mind and body are connected, they complete each other.

When we talk about this connection, we talk about our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, behaviors, our point of views, our conscious and how powerfully they are affecting our biological system.

Have you ever wondered why some of our biological symptoms appear when everything seems great? Our mind can affect our physiological well-being and on the other hand, our psychological well-being can be affected by our physiological well-being, like what we eat, how much we sleep etc. Most of our bodily dysfunctions are derived from our automated thoughts.

Our body and mind should be in harmony for the optimal health that we desire.

But how and why they are connected? Our brain, peripheral nervous system, endocrine and immune system, our emotions and all the organs in our body share the same chemical language and through this they are constantly in communication. Let’s think that our body is an organization. A big one! Each organ is a manager of their own system, but they are all connected to a director. If managers and directors lose their communication somehow, the likelihood of unhealthiness will increase. Because the cause of most of the diseases are the failure of this organization. Without the proper information flow through mind and body the electrical functions fail, and brain can’t operate properly in some areas of the body. Since we talked about the technical part, we can surely talk about how we can find the harmony.

First, the balance should be established with awareness. We should realize that our body is a vehicle. In order to get this vehicle running, we should invest in it. The more we invest in our body, the more we invest in our mind and vice versa. How to improve your mental health? During an event we hardly recognize what is going on around us, or while we are doing something like driving, cooking, eating, or exercising, the same thing applies. So, to stop for a minute while you are reading this blog and try to recognize everything happening around you. The voices, the colors, the fragrances of the space around you & then focus your attention on your body, assess your body, see if you are feeling any discomfort? This is a small version of an awareness exercise. But if you practice this frequently, in time you’ll learn how your body reacts to certain stimuli around you and how it recognizes patterns of thinking in that specific moment.

Second, take care of yourself. Make time for yourself. If you get too busy to take care of your needs, you might disturb the communication of your body and mind. How to improve your physical health? We need to have some "Me Time" for emotional and physical well-being. You can build your own self-care systems. You can start by asking yourself about your needs and wishes. This doesn’t mean that you are becoming selfish; this means you are positively affecting your mind and body each day!

girl doing yoga sitting positiion

Which wellness routines can we practice?

  • Meditate
  • Hot/cold shower
  • Reading
  • Listening/playing music
  • Massage/somatic experiencing
  • Walking
  • Eating healthy (a healthy eating routine will keep our body in balance)
  • Dancing
  • Cooking
  • Skin care routine
  • Healthy sleep routine

The list above is some of the basic activities that we can practice to keep our physical health, mental health, and mind-body health connected. But most important of all, that is not listed above, is letting go. Our body keeps a record of everything. Even if we do not remember an incident, our body stores it somewhere, and we might not even recognize that we are still holding on to that painful experience. Maybe during a massage, on a certain pressure point, you might recognize something that you have forgotten a long time ago because the pain of that memory is stored on that specific pressure point. If we keep hanging on to painful experiences, we could ultimately harm our physical health, mental health, and mind-body health. Thus, practice all the strategies listed above to let go, even if it is difficult at first. Find ways to relieve and heal. Try to talk about your pain, get therapeutic help, keep a diary, and be aware of yourself.

guy with apple on top of the head

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