What is the Body-Brain Connection
When your body is ill you typically feel miserable, sad or maybe even depressed. That feeling of not wanting to get off the couch or out of bed is called sickness behavior. It happens for a good reason, it helps stop the infection or illness from getting worse.
People with depression show classic sickness behavior and sick people feel a lot like people with depression. Is this the body-brain connection? Does what you feed your body effect your mind and what you feed your mind effect your body? The answer is a resounding yes! Studies suggest your emotional state has a dramatic impact on your physical health. And unhealthy diets—may be the precursor to mood disorders such as depression. What do toxic thoughts and diets do to your mind and body? What is the common thread? The culprit seems to be inflammation.
Inflammation is your body’s response to stress. Stress can come from your diet, lifestyle or environment. It may be caused by rush hour traffic, a tense relationship, a heavy work load, feelings of helplessness or victimization or your diet, better known as nutritional stress. Regardless of the cause, the body reacts the same with a stress response.
During the body’s stress response, your nervous system takes action by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, creating inflammation. When your body’s system experiences a constant inflammatory response, you are more prone to aging and disease.
You need to reduce the stress to decrease the amount of inflammation in your body, to not only look and feel better, but to significantly lower your risk for chronic disease. How can you reduce stress?
A healthy diet is one of the best ways to combat stress. Food is very important; food is pleasure, comfort and community. It is also one of the most powerful tools you have to build a healthy body and mind. Food can make you strong or weak, energized or depleted, skinny or fat. What you eat affects everything, including your bones, hair, nails, skin and mood. Food does matter. Eating a diet of whole foods and avoiding processed foods reduces nutritional stress. Before you do this, you may need some clarification.
I bet it never occurred to you being called a “thoughtless person” could benefit your health. Controlling your thoughts and being still through meditation has numerous health benefits. It reduces stress, improves concentration, encourages a healthy lifestyle and increases happiness and gratitude. Studies show that a regular practice of meditation can improve your sleep quality and cardiovascular and immune health.
Yoga is particularly useful for improving your mood and shrugging off stress. But ongoing research shows this ancient ritual has other health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and counteracting fibromyalgia. “Yoga balances the body, the hormonal system, and the stress response. People tend to think of yoga as being all about flexibility – it’s not. It’s about rebalancing and healing the body” says Paula R. Pullen, PhD, Research Instructor at the Morehouse School of Medicine.
In closing, the body-brain connection is critically important in improving balance at every level. You can benefit from a strong digestive system by what you consume physically, mentally and emotionally.
Enjoy a great day,