The connection between the mind and the body remains vital to your well-being. Your decisions, behaviors, and mindset affect how you feel physically and mentally. Whether you neglected and damaged your mind or body, you can take steps to heal and repair both. The power of a few lifestyle choices in healing your mind and body is incredible.
The Mind-Body Connection
Throughout history, people have discussed the mind-body connection. Some believed the link existed as one. Yet, scholars and researchers now believe the mind-body connection reflects two separate entities as time passes. What one entity does to the other affects both. For example, if you struggle to take care of your body, you may also struggle to improve your mental health. Consider how rest days from exercising make you feel. The time off to do nothing but relax helps heal your body. Likewise, self-care, like a rest day, heals your mind.
Maybe the idea of doing nothing one day a week is challenging. That’s okay. You don’t have to do anything all day to reap the benefits of letting your mind and body heal or relax. A rest day is perfect for meditating, walking in nature, drawing, or reading. Any activity that brings you joy is a way to heal and connect your mind and body. Creating this balance is vital.
Mind-body balance creates healthy, positive feelings toward yourself and others. Any disruption to their connection can damage your thoughts, attitude, or feelings. How you feel or think about yourself affects how you treat yourself. Mindful activities or choices positively impact your mind and body. Physical symptoms can reflect psychological or social issues.
How the Connection Works
Your brain produces chemicals that affect your mental and physical health. For example, when the brain releases endorphins, you can cope with stress and anxiety. Similarly, immunoglobulins or antibodies produced by the immune system are activated to remove harmful, foreign substances from the body. Alcohol and drugs affect how endorphins and immunoglobins are released, causing your mind and body to react differently. Without immunoglobins, your body can’t fight off damaging foreign substances. As a result, you can become ill or weakened. Feeling weak or sick changes your mindset, potentially leading to negative thoughts and behaviors.
Mental health or substance use disorder (SUD) treatment builds the foundation for better health. An essential part of treatment is learning how to feed your mind and body.
Feeding Your Mind and Body
Nutrition is one of the most potent ways to heal your mind and body. How you think about and treat food affects your well-being. When you’re disconnected from your body, you make your brain responsible for what and how you eat. For example, if you’re angry at yourself or don’t like your appearance, you can make harmful decisions that affect your body. Suppose you think you’re fat and want to find ways to control food. You are at an increased risk of developing an eating disorder. People with eating disorders may find harmful ways to lose weight or look better. Unfortunately, drastically reducing calories or taking other measures damages your mind and body from receiving the necessary nourishment.
To begin the healing process, you must give back to your body and nurture its healing properties. Feed your body well, and it will treat you well. Work with a nutritionist or your therapist to build a healthy relationship with food. Discover the psychological reasons you withheld healthy food from your body. And then learn how to shop, prepare, and eat.
Benefits of Healthy Eating
Healthy eating is a lifestyle choice. Choosing or finding the right food is, at times, challenging. The benefits of maintaining a healthy diet are countless. Some of the benefits include:
- The potential to live longer
- Maintains your skin, teeth, and eye health
- Builds or supports your muscles and bones
- Increases your immunity
- Lowers the risk of illness like heart disease, some cancers, or type two diabetes
- It keeps your digestive system healthy
- It helps you maintain or reach a healthy weight
Healthy eating can also improve your sleep and memory and set an example for your children or other loved ones.
How to Eat Healthily
Think of your plate as a canvas. You want as much color on it as possible. To achieve the goal of having a colorful plate, you need fruits and vegetables. But, how much do you need? The following is a guide to what you need every day to maintain the health and function of your body and mind:
- Vegetables: Four to five servings daily
- Fruit: Four to five servings a day
- Whole grains: Four to six servings a daily
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy: Two servings a day
- Nuts, legumes, and seeds: Four to five servings a week
- Healthy oils and fats: Three servings daily
- Poultry, fish, or lean meats: Six or fewer servings a day
If you have food allergies, dietary needs, or preferences, tailor your diet to meet your needs. But, make sure you’re still giving your body and mind the required nutrients.
The saying “you are what you eat” is accurate. What you feed yourself affects how your mind and body function. Substance use and mental health disorders can determine how you treat your body and your relationship with food. Changing your eating habits can come from discovering your inner conversation with yourself. Seeking help from a therapist and a nutritionist provides you with the opportunity to heal and grow your mind-body connection. At Crownview Psychiatric Institute, we guide you to understand how psychological or social issues impact your well-being. You can attend individual and holistic therapy sessions to find the connection between your mind and body. Our wellness team can advise you on incorporating exercise and nutrition into your daily routine. You will find yourself as you heal and grow at our peaceful location in San Diego, CA.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Contact our admissions team to learn how Crownview can help you or your loved one.