A Healthy Body flows from a Healthy and Happy Mind.
We can have the best diet under the sun, but if we do not recognise the importance of the right positive, resilient mindset in contributing to our state of health and happiness, we will fail in maintaining our natural wellbeing. The delicate mind body connection must not be underestimated.
In the U.S.A. alone, 1 in 4 women over 40 are taking antidepressants! The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2020, Depression will rise to reach second place in the ranking of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY) calculated for all ages. (A DALY is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death.) Today, depression already is the second cause of DALYs in the age category 15-44 years. They have also stated that there is a definitive correlation for depression to increase the risk for cardiac illness, diabetes, hypertension, and increase the severity & mortality of any other concurrent medical condition being experienced.
But it is not just clinically diagnosed depression which impacts our physical health- Professor Bruce Lipton of Stanford Medical School says that 95% of all sickness is related to stress. And interestingly, stress is a strong precursor to conditions such as chronic anxiety, panic attacks and depression. We are remaining in a state of heightened arousal and tension for long periods of time more than ever before in history-this state is what we call the fight or flight response. Our bodies will not release certain feel good, happy hormones (biochemicals), when we are in this stressed state and thus stress is infact ensuring that if a person has an underlying problem such as depression, they will find it almost impossible to deal with that condition if they do not deal with underlying stressors effecting them in their life.
People sometimes think it is a bit lame or new agey to talk about ‘finding life happiness and purpose’… but statistics are now mounting a pretty convincing case, that perhaps it is our loss of connection to who we are and who we aspire to be, that is leaving many with an empty, meaningless life that leaves them inclined to depression, stress, chronic frustration and a compromised immune system because of it. The Mind-body connection is real. So if you have an aversion to self reflection and growing your own self–awareness, this maybe infact worsening your mental health condition.
Couple this with the fact that many medications prescribed for anxiety, stress and depression come with unfortunate side effects such as: digestive problems, fatigue, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, worsening of symptoms and even suicidal tendency…your medications could simply be making your state of mind worse. (Note: I am not suggesting anyone reading this to suddenly stop taking any medication they are on. Please consult your GP/or specialist to discuss any changes you desire as sudden reduction can result in unpleasant side effects.)
Apart from becoming more self-aware, acknowledging the mind-body connection which strongly influences our health and ability to find happiness, there are 4 further ways we can help to balance our body’s biochemistry naturally:
- Get plenty of quality sleep and rest.
Although everybody is different, most people will not function well without at least 6-8hrs sleep every night. Our body repairs itself when in sleep mode and processes a lot of emotions we feel throughout the day. Our mind needs to switch off every night to reset for the next day. Have you ever noticed that after a good nights sleep, whatever emotional discord you felt the night before will never seem so bad or intense the next morning- until we consciously start ‘feeding’ it with emotive thoughts again?
- Physical Exertion/Exercise.
The impact that movement has upon our state of mind is grossly underestimated by a lot of people. It is infact one of the most natural ways to disperse stress and tension which builds up during our day. It is particularly helpful for people who find themselves in daily environments where they cannot express the tension that builds up, in a physical way as they feel it. Our fight or flight stress response, will naturally reset itself back into a relaxed state once we have expended energy –historically, that is how our nervous system was built to work back in the hunter/gatherer time….our mind/body experienced pressure, stress, an adrenalin rush- brought on by having to confront a threat or run from one-either way we expended energy doing so and once we stopped moving and the threat or fight was over, we returned to the relaxed, rest and digest mode. What is the best form of exercise? The one that YOU DO. It does not need to be formal like going to the gym- just going for a regular walk or getting out digging or plucking weeds out in the garden for a sustained period of half an hour is great!
- Routine of Relaxation/Stress Reduction Techniques.
Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, conscious deep breathing, mindfulness and gratitude. All of these can help in different ways to assist lessen the effects of stress upon your mind and body. Some can be interspersed throughout your work day as you feel tension and others, like PMR or meditation can be more beneficial if done at a certain time every day or at least every second day. Remember that anything is better than NOTHING.
- Reduce Intake of Processed Foods in your Daily Diet.
There has been many studies now undertaken which have been able to create a distinct correlation between elevated blood sugar levels (brought on by a high intake of highly refined, processed foods) and a person’s tendency to be depressed. The reason for this is that processed foods lead to quick unsustained peak release of glucose, which leads to emotional highs and quick energy, closely followed by a rapid drop in the glucose and thus, energy and mood also. To help stabilise one’s mood swings, we need to stabilise blood sugar levels also, by consuming a wholesome diet , rich in complex carbohydrates, natural fibre, with plenty of fresh water, fruit, vegetables and simple proteins. Skipping meals is a no-no also, because we tend to make up for missing a meal at the next one by eating more than we should, or by snacking more on food that is a quick fix (salty, sugary) and once again, our glucose levels will be on a rollercoaster ride and so too will our brain!
Any new habit or change takes at least 21 days before it becomes easier to implement naturally. So anything you try to do in your quest to balance your mind-body connection needs you to create a strong motivating ‘WHY?’ to assist you take action and make a commitment to the change you really need, ensuring it will last. You can access my FREE report called ‘Time For Change’ by CLICKING HERE. This will provide you with 5 actions to take today that will help you make the commitment you know you need, to improve the quality and enjoyment of your life right now.
Resource Ref. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3137804/