Monday, April 20, 2020

Mind Body Connection: How Mood Affects The Body

Neurotransmitters control virtually all of the body's functions, from feeling happy to regulating hormones to dealing with stress. Our thoughts influence our bodies directly because the body interprets the messages coming from the brain to prepare us for whatever is expected. These neurochemical changes prepare the body to deal with perceived danger in a number of ways, such as raising blood pressure and heart rate to allow faster speed and response time putting our bodies into a fight or flight state. When positive thoughts are generated, when you are feeling happy or optimistic, cortisol decreases and the brain produces serotonin, creating a feeling of well-being. When serotonin levels are normal, one feels happy, calmer, less anxious, more focused and more emotionally stable. Dopamine is also a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward system and pleasure center.


The power of a healthy attitude cannot be underestimated in the body-mind connection. Chronic elevations in psychological stress suppress the immune system, and suppression of the immune system raises the risk of viral infection and other diseases. Resilient people actually resist illnesses, cope with adversity, and recover quicker because they are able to maintain a positive attitude and manage their stress effectively. By managing our attitudes and stress levels, we actually control neurochemical transmissions in the body. This does not mean that resilient people ignore that things are difficult, failures, loss etc. It means they accept the difficulties and become curious about the lessons they teach. They resist the urge to judge ones’ self or others too harshly. They learn to focus and appreciate what they do have not what they have lost. They learn to be in the present while looking forward to the future. Building resilience helps to maintain a positive attitude and healthy immune system.

Take care of yourself

To have good emotional health, it’s important to take care of your body by having a regular routine for eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep, and exercising to relieve pent-up tension. Avoid overeating and do not look to unhealthy choices and behaviors. Try to create and maintain a healthy balance in your life. Poor emotional health can weaken your body’s immune system. This makes you more likely to get colds and other infections during emotionally difficult times.

Create a Positive Mind
Relaxation methods, such as meditation, listening to music, listening to guided imagery tracks, Yoga and Tai Chi are useful ways to bring your emotions into balance. Meditation is a form of guided thought. It can take many forms. For example, you may do it by exercising, stretching, or breathing slowly and deeply.

Some other helpful ways to help create a positive response in the body is watching a comedy, playing a game, cooking or baking, light a candle, set a measurable attainable goal, search for positive quotes, create a list of your positive qualities, read a good book, connect with loved ones, etc.  Our bodies have a direct response to how we perceive our world. Surround yourself with positive thoughts. “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change” ~ Wayne Dyer

Blog post by Ally Wilson.

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