The Health Link Between Mind & Body
Very often, when we’re feeling worried and/or low about aspects of our lives, we will suffer ill health. The fact that you’re having relationship problems, career problems, anxiety issues or other personal concerns, may well show up in the form of physical and physiological symptoms such as back pain, hypertension, heart problems, chronic pain and chronic fatigue, amongst other health conditions.
Looking at back problems, for example, as we carry the mental tension around in our minds, we begin to tense muscles in our body which can then lead to physical problems. You can probably identify times when you have had this experience. Ever notice how relaxed your whole body feels when suddenly a problem in your life has been resolved or you realise a worry you had is no longer important? Chances are you feel more relaxed because “a weight has been lifted” and also because your mind has relaxed which in turn signaled your physical body to relax, too!
Furthermore, the heart actually sends signals to your brain and the rest of the body’s organs which helps regulate the brain and body and their activity in response to your thoughts and feelings. So what you’re feeling and thinking in your heart and mind will affect how your body responds.
Stress and Cortisol and Why Coaching Helps Heal Physical Health Problems
As an example, when you feel stressed your body will release an increased amount of cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone. Initially this is a necessary response for human survival as it gives us a quick burst of energy for survival reasons, increases our immunity, helps improve memory functions and helps reduce our sensitivity to pain. However, if we do not relax after this heightened state then the body’s increased cortisol production over a prolonged period of time can cause health problems such as:
- weight gain,
- gastrointestinal issues,
- susceptibility to colds,
- increased chance of heart disease, and
- back pain.
Let’s not forget that if you have physical health problems that prevent you from doing what you normally do, this can further induce stress which in turn produces more of the stress hormone!
Consider the fact that your prolonged physical health problem may be your body telling you that something in your mental life needs to change, and you may find solutions to lift you out of the misery.
The link between the communication of your mind, heart and the rest of your body is multi-directional; they all affect one another. Therefore, if you are finding that you cannot successfully heal a physical problem with physiological help alone, it may be that the physiological help needs to be complemented with the addressing of any psychological (mental) concerns you have.
If you are suffering from anxiety, stress, guilt, anger, unhappiness, low self-esteem, low confidence, or something else that needs addressing that is giving rise to a negative mental state of mind – such as relationship problems, post natal depression, or career problems – then help with your mental state may be the solution you are looking for.