Mind Body Connection

mind-body-soul

It may be hard to believe…but your emotions really do affect your physical health.  Just think about your most recent headache…what was going on with you emotionally at that time?  Were you anxious about a work deadline?  Were you worried about a sick family member?  Maybe you had a disagreement with a co-worker?  Many events in our lives (both positive and negative, large and small) can disrupt our emotional health and as a result, disrupt our physical health.

These events may include:

*Starting a new job/losing a job

*Having a baby

*An argument

*The death of a close friend or family member

*Financial struggles

*A promotion at work

*Getting divorced/getting married

*A child leaving home

*Moving into a new home

Our bodies respond to the way we think, feel and act and they let us know when something just isn’t right.  There are many physical signs that might be a red flag to us, letting us know that our emotional health needs our attention:

*Chest pain

*Headaches

*Upset stomach

*Noticeable change in weight/appetite

*High blood pressure

*Chest pain/palpitations

*Trouble sleeping

*Shortness of breath

So how can I improve my emotional health?

The first step is to understand the mind body connection and listen to what your body is telling you.  Other suggestions would include:

Relax

This doesn’t mean you have run out and sign up for a yoga class today, but you do need to find ways to calm your mind and body.  Maybe you like to listen to calming music or you relax by doing deep breathing or stretching exercises.  Just figure out what works for you!

Self Care

Might sound simple, but for most busy people, it’s always last on our list.  Self care includes things like getting enough sleep and exercise; eating on a regular schedule and consuming healthy foods; having someone to talk to about the good things in your life as well as the struggles you may be having.  The list goes on and on, but the point is…take care of you!

Set Boundaries

Why is saying “no” so hard for most of us?  At work, at home, at play…it’s hard to say no.  But in order to keep a healthy balance in our life, we have to learn to say it sometimes.  Spreading ourselves too thin might mean that we are doing a lot of things, but doing none of them well.

Consider Seeking Professional Help

For some unknown reason, many of us have a negative connotation of “therapy” or “counseling”.  We think it is a sign of weakness when someone has to go to a therapist or engage in counseling.  Actually it is a sign of strength when someone realizes that they need a professional to help them work through an issue or struggle they may be having.  So consider researching the mental health providers available through your insurance plan.  Talking to a professional might bring you the perspective and balance that you need to achieve improved emotional health.