Just like your body can alter the well-being of your mind, your mind can greatly impact your body both negatively and positively. Our minds and bodies are intricately interconnected, and the well-being or ill health of one of them will often have a direct influence on the other. Keep your mind calm and rested so your body can healthily share the same feeling.
Stress and sleep
Today’s world is viciously nerve-racking. Everything is fast paced, and there are never enough hours in the day to get by without stressing out over something. Whether it’s work, school, relationships or even the laundry that’s piled up, we are often too stressed to be able to enjoy a calm dinner or to sleep well at night. Closing your eyes will not automatically shut down your thoughts, and it almost never equates to actually “falling asleep,” for so often we wake up in the morning feeling even more tired and with less energy. Your body needs dopamine to signal your body to sleep. Until your mind is stress-free, your body will not get the rest it craves. And the less sleep we get, the more stressed we get, and the vicious cycle keeps going.
Stress and hormonal imbalances
Women need oxytocin, as discussed in depth in John Gray’s Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice. But gender differences aside, we need feel-good hormones — be it oxytocin in women or testosterone in men — on a daily basis to function and cope with everyday obstacles. Stress prevents the regular production of oxytocin and disturbs hormonal production inside your body. Apart from depression, hormonal imbalances can have all sorts of effects on your body: stomach aches, increased stomach acidity, colon problems and fibrosis, to name a few. Think of the way your heart starts to race when you think of something scary, or the way you get butterflies in your stomach when you get excited. Our thoughts and our bodies are intertwined in ways we cannot disentangle. We can only harmonize them.
Coping with stress
Our thoughts tend to wander wildly, and it’s not always easy to control them, especially when the root of the problem cannot be helped. That doesn’t mean you have to surrender to this vicious cycle, though. Meditate! Meditation always works. Whether you do some yoga or simply close your eyes and try to shun negative thoughts, it is up to you. Some of us clear our minds by writing, so keeping a journal on your bedside table might work for you. Whatever it is, find that outlet you need to tame your mind so you can take control of your body.