As a yogi, the mind body connection has always been a keen interest of mine. But these last few days I’ve been thinking about it from a different perspective. Instead of linking the mind + body for greater expansion and control, I’m realizing the importance this connection has on day to day living and general wellbeing.
Last week, DH had surgery for his ongoing pain in the neck. This was my first time as the patient’s spouse, and it was all kinds of strange. Being in the hospital — around so much sickness — was intense. I spent hours in the waiting room with other family members who were…well, waiting like me. Then there was the recovery room. To see my husband amongst that cast of characters — and he looked like one of them — was unsettling, to say the least.
DH is home healing now. He will fully recover, and be better than ever. But this process has highlighted how the mind body connection can impact a life.
We don’t know exactly how his severe disc herniation occurred. The doctor couldn’t say. But DH is certain it’s from a lifetime of not listening to his body.
And even though I consider myself to be highly attuned to my body, that doesn’t mean I always listen to it.
Like when my stomach says it’s full, somehow my hands are signaled to keep putting more almonds and chocolate chips into my mouth. Or when my legs go another four laps around the running track despite the fact my left knee is screaming achey. And then there are the countless nights when my eyes shout SHUT DOWN, but my mind is determined to finish another episode of whatever show I’m currently binge watching.
The mind is a powerful thing, and sadly sometimes it takes a body in sickness, pain or injury to get it noticed. But if we can pay attention to the softer, more subtle signs coming from our bodies, it can help pave the path of living well.
Here, 3 more TO-DOs to help strengthen your mind body connection:
1. Meditate Meditate Meditate
And if you don’t feel like sitting for five or ten minutes then at least take little relaxation breaks to check in with the body. While waiting for the elevator, close your eyes for a few seconds and see what you’re feeling on the inside. You can also do this in the shower or when brushing your teeth.
2. Do Yoga
The mindful practice focuses on linking movement to breath which helps the mind and body work as one.
3. Be Positive
This doesn’t mean everything has to glow through rose colored glasses (though if you do want that, here’s a super cute pair). But by being more optimistic you’re sending good vibes not only to yourself, but to those around you creating a healthier environment for all.
4. Stay Active
Part of DH’s recovery plan from the doctor is to walk daily. When the body is moving, it keeps the blood flowing, and the channels stay open to keep the connection alive.
How do you keep your mind body connection going?
(Photo by Adrian Alston for TheProducer.com )