I am not a licensed mental health professional. The information provided on this page is designed with the intention of offering information for various healing modalities or avenues.
The Mind Body Connection 101
The ever mysterious powers of the mind. Your brain is the master control for your body. Your mind and your thoughts may be more influential to your health than you realize. Most of us are familiar with the old saying “mind over matter.” Well in regards to wellness this statement holds a lot of truth.
Let's start with a crash course in the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). This division of the central nervous system controls the bodily functions we do not think about like your heart beating, your blood pressure, breathing, digestion, production / release of hormones & neurotransmitters. The ANS has 2 divisions or modes of operating. The sympathetic or more commonly known fight or flight division and the parasympathetic or restorative state. Sadly there doesn't seem to be any middle ground here.
These divisions of the ANS are crucial to survival. In the event of a crisis or emergency your body diverts it resources to keeping you alive. Let's say you are being chased by a bear. The ANS would shift from it's restorative state to the fight or flight state. Your adrenal glands would go into overdrive pumping out stress hormones to heighten your senses, your blood flow would diverted from your organs to your muscles so you could out run the bear. Your heart rate & respiration would increase. Your bowls would stop moving or void. Your bladder may do the same thing. Your liver would be converting fats into sugars to give you extra energy. All of things to help you survive. But what happens when the trigger isn't a bear? What happens when it's just daily stress like being late for work, or worrying about money or a loved one? Your mind sends out the same signals and the same responses take place in the body.
It isn't any secret the world we live in is stressful and demanding. Sadly way too many of us get stuck in the sympathetic, fight or flight division. This is where our bodies stay. This is why we feel like we are exhausted by could easily jump out of our skin at the same time.
Many of us can experience a traumatic event of just witness one and body will not shake it off. This can result in anxiety & depression. It can also manifest in the physical body as things like irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, muscle tension, sleep deprivation, and a long list of other things. It can also make per-existing conditions worse like autoimmune disorders or diabetes. Have you ever heard a diabetic say, “I don't know what happened I didn't even eat any dinner and my fasting glucose was 400!” This is because the liver converted fats to sugar while they were asleep due directly to stress.
The powers of the mind…. We can experience fight or flight from nothing more than negative thoughts. When we become hypersensitive to outside stimuli it can be a wrecking ball to our overall health and well-being. Our bodies no longer perform other necessary functions to ensure long term survival like absorbing nutrients from the food we eat, eliminating toxins, and restoring essential hormones and neurotransmitters.
So what can you do? Do you need medication? In some instances you might. But before you go running to your family doctor you may want to consider some alternative therapies and wellness practices to restore your mind and your health. More often than not these therapies are more effective than medication.