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Certainly we all have heard about the mind-body connection. Basically, when talking about this dynamic relationship, we are talking about the mind’s effect on the body and the body’s effect on the mind. It is reciprocal. Some connections are easily understood such as the effect that stress has on the digestive system. Unbridled stress can lead to digestive conditions such as nausea, ulcers, even gastric esophageal reflux.
Migraines can be another area where the mind-body connection is easily observed. In these examples, for many people, untreated stress can easily be understood as a cause of physical discomfort medically treatable conditions. To be able to live in a state of balanced wellness, we need to be aware of the inner workings of both our bodies, our mind, and spirit, and how connected they all really are. This is something I call, the “Mind-Body-Faith Phenomenon,” and will expound on that concept in future articles as we will see how hope, the precursor to faith, affects the mind-body connection.
On the other side of the mind-body coin, where the physical manifestations may occur first, followed by mental health issues, we see the reverse. Physical conditions such as thyroid dysfunction, cardiac and respiratory conditions, brain tumors, and some neurological and autoimmune conditions, such as MS and fibromyalgia, may just be the catalysts to send a person into a state of acute clinical depression, or chronic depression, anxiety, insomnia, other medically based conditions or disability.
To prevent this from happening, we need to try to understand first what helps and what hinders our own, personal mind-body-spirit processes to reach and maintain a state of homeostasis or well-being. We need to carefully monitor our own stress level, to recognize when stress reduction is necessary, and when we are able to live life to the fullest.
When there is a disruption in the mind sector of the mind-body connection, it is not hard to see how easy it is to recognize symptoms of depression, nervousness, anxiety, physical pain, discomfort, and insomnia. Stress emotions can be so powerful, in fact, that they can disrupt every part of a person’s life leaving them in physical pain, unable to work, parent, engage in successful relationships, or even to sleep at night.
Until we begin to recognize signs and symptoms of mind-body stress present in our thinking, behavior and physical being, we are unable to correct them. The best scenario possible is to encounter stress symptoms early as they occur, and make needed adjustments to alleviate unnecessary stress. By so doing, we may be able to significantly decrease the chance of mind-body dysfunction and subsequently, depression, disease, and ongoing disability.
Adele M. Gill | Copyright 2016