Mind/Body Medicine

Our body is like a computer, the brain acts as the hardware, while the mind serves as the software. The brain uses neurotransmitters to communicate with other parts of the body, while the mind generates thoughts and feelings that manifest in our behavior and emotions. Everything we do starts from our minds. This is an extremely powerful idea!

It’s estimated over 80% of the visits to family practitioners or general internists are related to emotional issues. This suggests emotions play a major role in our physical health. Research also shows a strong connection between mental health and physical well-being.

As humans, we have a range of emotions that are closely linked to our needs.  Key human needs include: love, connection, freedom of choice, meaning and purpose of life, acceptance, and peace. We also have physical needs such as food, shelter, sleep, and comfort. Play (such as adventure), fun, relaxation, and humor are also important human needs. Emotions are important messengers that can tell us if our needs are being met.  Fear surfaces when we don’t feel safe. It warns us of danger, which can be real or imagined. Instead of going into a panic attack or being paralyzed, we, just need to focus on the solutions. Anger may arise when any of our needs are not being met. Healthy anger reminds us to take action in order to get those needs fulfilled. Sadness often comes from the loss of something or someone we love. It is important to allow ourselves space for the grieving process before moving on with life. Shame is different from guilt—it’s often related to feelings of “not enough”.  It is vital for wellbeing to remember that self- acceptance comes first before striving for self-improvement.

The RAIN technique is an excellent way to process our emotions. It stands for Recognize, Acknowledge, Investigate and Nurture. It helps you recognize what emotion you are feeling without judging yourself, then investigate which of your needs aren’t being met and find a solution. Lastly, nurturing yourself by allowing yourself some self-care can be a great self-soothing tool.

Journaling can be a great way to help us process our emotions and self-reflect.  Yoga, deep abdominal breathing, and meditation can help us to relax our bodies and minds. The majority of our minds are composed of the unconscious and subconscious, which are formed during the first few years of life. The conscious mind is just a small part, while the much bigger and deeper subconscious level can be accessed through relaxation and meditation. Combining creative visualization, positive affirmation and other techniques can help us reduce negative thoughts, access new insights, unlock creativity, and unleash our potential to heal our bodies.

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