How your body and emotions are linked

People often use language that describes the link between their emotions and body. For instance, “that was a heart wrenching experience,” and, “this situation’s a pain in the neck.” However, most do not recognize the profundity of their mind/body connection; if they did, they would be more mindful about how their feelings and body influenced each other.

The vagus nerve, situated in your brain, stretches way down into your abdomen via branch-like structures that also flow to most of your organs. Information from your organs flows up to your brain, and information from your brain flows down to your organs. Thus, when you have a gut feeling, your vagus nerve is communicating with your brain. Additionally, when you are stressed you might observe a physical response. Some people even consider the abdomen to be a second brain itself, partially because it contains brain proteins and neurons.

Occasions when you feel butterflies in your stomach, get stomach-ache because you are anxious or excited, or instinctively sense information can stem from your brain and gut talking together. Indeed, when you experience a fight-or-flight moment and your heart races, unless you really are in danger, it is likely that your thoughts have caused you to physically, as well as emotionally panic.

You can reverse the situation and achieve calm when you are stressed by practicing deep breathing. Inhale gradually, and exhale a little longer than it took you to draw breath. Doing so with cause your emotions and heart to slow down and relax so that you are able to achieve a tranquil state of mind.

Studies show that it is possible to improve your mental state and physical health by practicing yoga or meditating, since you learn how to think in ways that calm your system. At the same time, you can focus on your heart, as your emotions really can travel from your heart to your brain and operate the other way around. While you concentrate on the region of your heart, breathe deeply and imagine that each breath flows into the area.

You can enhance the exercise by thinking kind, compassionate thoughts. Alternatively, think about a person, animal, or place that you love and imagine them bathed in warm sunshine. Loving thoughts help to connect your heart and brain, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, and improving the health of your heart.

Not only can recognizing your mind/body connection enhance your health, but it can also be beneficial for your relationships. When you want to improve communication, speak from your heart. Most people will not be able to describe how to do so, but just thinking about communicating in this manner can strengthen the required connection.

References:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201302/the-neurobiology-grace-under-pressure
http://www.psyking.net/id36.htm

About bridget

bridget webber

Bridget Webber’s background rests in mental health, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and art. She brings knowledge from her experiences into her writing and specializes in emotional wellness and the creation of, rather than search for, joy. You can catch up with her insights and musings on Twitter.

Twitter: @InsightManager

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