The connection between our minds–our thoughts and emotions–and our bodies–the physical manifestations of thoughts, as well as our avenue for performing actions, is amazing. In many cases, we think of this connection as moving in one-direction–and this can vary from person to person. Someone with a head cold, body aches and chills will have thoughts of feeling sick and emotional responses of tiredness and stress, and usually think that because they are physically unwell, that causes how they are feeling and thinking. In another instance, someone could be really pumped up about a new opportunity, with thoughts and feelings of excitement, possibility and adventure, which relates to body sensations of having lots of energy, maybe pushing adrenaline through the system, and not needing as much sleep.
It seems like one causes the other–but which way does the connection flow? I would argue that the connection is a two-way channel of communication. Our thoughts and feelings can manifest in physical responses in energy level, wellness or sickness, likelihood of injury and more. And the physical state of our bodies can shift our thoughts and emotions in a moment.
Try this–notice how your body is right now–your posture, any aches or pain, your energy level. Now think about something that makes you sad and feel the emotions that come with that. What changes came over your body as you shifted your thought? Did you shoulders slump, did you notice a decrease in energy, did back pain or knee pain suddenly make itself known? Now, I want to you grin the biggest, silliest grin you’ve ever grinned, maybe push out a laugh or two. What thoughts are you thinking now? Are you feeling better, happier, even though you’re hoping nobody is looking at your ridiculous behavior? So, in the first case, our thoughts shifted our physiology. In the second exercise, our change to our physiology shifted our thoughts and emotions.
You can apply this principle at any time. If you’re feeling sick or tired, take a look at the thoughts and emotions that are predominant, and pay attention to the messages from your body. If you want to change, do something that promotes your energy, like laughing, dancing, exercising, calling a friend, watching a comedy. And work on shifting your thought patterns, and concentrating on feeling happy, content, love, gratitude and joy. As you open the mind-body connection, you will have more control over your physical body and your thoughts. You decide how you want to feel, both emotionally and physically.