Mental Health Monday: The Bond Between Mind and Body
The mind is an extremely powerful organ in the human body. It is the center of the all around things that makes us a human being. We all have feelings, thoughts and behaviors and have the ability to be very aware of each of them. When we are in complete tune with each of these emotions, we mostly experience happiness and are content, and have found methods of how to cope with the onset of stress and challenges of life general.
These human emotions, stemming from the mind; however, can be thrown off balance when faced with something unique and life changing. These challenges can change any one of these emotions with a high or low, happy or sad, positive or negative, impact on how us, as humans can think and act. The challenges can be devastating for some, and here are a few other factors that can influence emotions, both mentally and physically.
*Loss of a Job
*A child leaving home or returning
*Dealing with a death of a loved one
*Suffering an illness or injury
*Moving into a new home
*Having a baby
and many others. (Familydoctor.org)
In order to get yourself on the quest to improve your health is to understand that the mind and body connected. So, the goal is to work on getting these behaviors and emotions back in check. There are endless strategies on how to put yourself on the path to improved health, and the first goal is to build your resilience and express your feelings.
Begin with practicing yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation for relaxation and a clear mind.
It is no secret there is still a stigma concerning the topic and issues of mental illness. But there is hope on the rise of which new techniques, experts, studies, and new approaches are helping to remove the stigma! A recent article on phychologytoday.com includes a write up by Christopher Bergland where he explains that the secret to our well being (including a healthy mind) can be found in evolutionary biology.
He continues to explain that the 7 Habits for a Healthy Mind in a Healthy body are nothing more than simple lifestyle choices. Here are the 7 Habits listed as described in the article.
“When you’re stressed out, blow bubbles. Why? Because it reminds you to breathe!”
For me, that little trick was the greatest takeaway from a mental health summit I attended this year at the VA hospital in La Jolla. I was manning our informational table, when a woman strode by passing out these tiny, yellow cartons. I asked her, “What’s this?” And she responded with the sage advice above. ^^^
That brought a smile to my face then, and it relaxes me as I reflect on it now. Once in a while, I have to give myself that reminder to take that deep breath. Whether that’s when I’m playing tennis and I keep double-faulting or my day takes a detour in an unexpected direction. Or, you could be trying to capture a photo of bubbles outside, but it’s a breezy day and you keep failing to get a good shot.
It’s the unexpected encounters with people like the lady with the bubbles that enrich my quality of life. What does it for you? Whatever it is, cling to it.
Community is at the heart and center of what we do. And it’s inherent — meaning we don’t strive for it. But rather, community is a deep-rooted characteristic of our mission.
We take the court every week at our clinic and play. As adults, “play” isn’t a word we hear very often, but that shouldn’t diminish it’s importance. And one of the best features of play is that it’s most enjoyed as a group activity or with a team.
Being a part of the tennis program brings back the fondest memories of recess during grade school. Surrounded by all of your classmates and no social order. You could describe it as organized chaos. But what’s important to note about this activity is that it is so group-oriented. Everyone is out there to boost their own performance while lifting each other’s spirits. That’s true of recess and tennis.
It’s important in this day and age — to foster genuine human interaction. With the boost in technology, the way we communicate with each other has changed. But we can’t disregard the power and necessity of contact with other people, especially when we’re going through difficult or vulnerable times.
Researchers have linked loneliness to physical illness and to functional and cognitive decline. In response, programs that reach out to the socially isolated are growing. Our tennis program works to reach veterans and active service members. We pair the need for human interaction with an opportunity to be active and creative on the court.
I love the journalistic value of this piece in the New York Times. It is very solutions driven, which is my philosophy of news and my vision for the way we write stories about our world. These programs are examples of what’s going right in our communities, instead of stories of destruction and despair.