Skip to main content

Body and Mind Connection:
Learn How to Cultivate it

August 4, 2023 · 6 min read
Body and Mind Connection
Body and mind connection

When your mind speaks, your body manifests. Think about those butterflies in your tummy when love strikes or the ecstatic jump when good news lands. Your entire body becomes a vibrant ball of energy! But, on the flip side, unpleasant situations can mess with you too. You might lose your appetite, find yourself gasping for air, or even encounter mysterious aches. It's all connected, my friend. Understanding this mind-body conversation, both the positive and negative vibes, is the key to finding balance. Once we decode this mysterious code, we can cultivate the harmony we've been longing for. Shall we start?

There’s no doubt that human biology is too much of a complex interdisciplinary area to understand at the drop of a hat. However, learning some basic concepts from a scientific, psychological, and human perspective can totally lend us a hand in bringing awareness on how to reorder our life priorities and, thus, cultivate balance. So, let’s see what body-mind connection is about!

Say Hello to Oxytocin and «Vitamin People»

Many have probably heard of oxytocin as the «hugging or love hormone». Doctor Marian Rojas Estapé, one of the most well-known psychiatrists in Spain and author of the bestseller Find your vitamin person, points out that «all the moments in which oxytocin is secreted by your body are linked to the development of human bonds».1 This hormone is also released through touch, music and exercise, according to an article from Harvard Health Publishing,2 «Oxytocin: The love hormone».

Although getting in touch with our loved ones may sound pretty obvious, the truth is that many people still feel lonely or trapped in a robotic existence. Picture living like automatons—functioning, but completely detached from our own emotions and awareness. It's a common struggle that many face. But Dr. Rojas has come up with a brilliant concept: "vitamin people”. These special individuals can be close friends, family members, or even supportive colleagues in the workplace. They are great enhancers of oxytocin secretion and tension relievers, helping others to overcome challenges and the most complex threats.3 To put it simply, they help us struggle with different life scenarios by keeping our bodies working properly; so, the term «vitamin».

Dr. Rojas highlights in her book that «a well-given hug can lower a cortisol spike at a difficult time; a confident look can decisively encourage someone to overcome a difficult challenge; and a few words of encouragement can break the feeling of isolation».4

“All the moments in which oxytocin is secreted are linked to the development of human bonds”

Say Goodbye to Cortisol and a Warm Welcome to Awareness

While oxytocin is linked to well-being, cortisol is the opposite of that. The stress hormone cortisol is secreted in situations of alert or threat. Although cortisol is fundamental to our body, it can be quite harmful when released in excess.5 The author says that «humans are not designed to live in a constant state of alert», particularly when high cortisol levels are circulating within our blood. She explains that a permanent state of high alert makes the body struggle to regulate inflammation, causing people to be more prone to infections and illnesses. She says that «people go down the street with their bodies swollen, without even realizing it». Besides, cortisol intoxication can cause hair loss, eye tremors, gastrointestinal, thyroid and other physical damage».6

Diving deeper into the effects of cortisol can take many hours spent reviewing endless investigations throughout history. But the thing is to understand the signals cortisol sends to the body. For instance, both our body and mind would totally thank us if we could raise awareness and recognize when it's high time to reach out and ask for some help.

In fact, awareness of this mind-and-body connection is just the first step. When we’re mindful of our emotions and actions, we have the power to rewire our brains and readjust our priorities. In other words, when we start changing our thoughts, we change our reality.

 

 

«Humans are not designed to live in a constant state of alert»

Draw your Life Square and Cultivate Balance

Doctor Joseph Maroon is a world-renowned neurosurgeon and an Ironman triathlete. When he was in his forties, he experienced a continued series of losses and setbacks that led him into depression up to the point of quitting neurosurgery for quite a while. After some time, one of his business associates persuaded him to go for a run. He started slowly and gradually began incorporating swimming and cycling into his routine and eventually regained his well-being. After some time, he became a longevity expert in mind-body-soul connection. In his book Square One: A simple guide to a balanced life, Maroon cultivates balance by enhancing what he calls the four components of people’s lives.

He created the four sides of a square, including work, family and social, physical and spiritual on each side. The length of a side considers the importance given to that component and the amount of time spent. 8

Drawing the square encourages people to visualize whether it forms a 90-degree angle, meaning that priorities are balanced and, consequently, you have achieved well-being. On the contrary, priorities must be reset if the square turns into a trapezoid or any other imbalanced shape.9

Such a simple exercise can be a first step to mind-body connection healing! So, why not give it a shot? As Buddha wisely said, «to keep the body in good health is a duty…Otherwise, we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear».

Body and mind square EN desktop
Body and mind square EN mobile

Draw your own square and let's see what shape you end up with. Who are the « vitamin people» in your life? How do they bring positivity and vitality into your world? Connect with the Mia

References
  1. Marian Rojas Estape, Find your Vitamin Person, original title, Encuentra tu persona vitamina, Espasa, Publishing House, Editorial Planeta, 2021.
  2. Stephanie Watson, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch. July 20, 2021. Article retrieved from Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical school. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/oxytocin-the-love-hormone
  3. Marian Rojas Estape, Find your Vitamin Person, original title, Encuentra tu persona vitamina, Espasa, Publishing House, Editorial Planeta, 2021.
  4. Marian Rojas Estape, Find your Vitamin Person, original title, Encuentra tu persona vitamina, Espasa, Publishing House, Editorial Planeta, 2021.
  5. Marian Rojas Estape, Find your Vitamin Person, original title, Encuentra tu persona vitamina, Espasa, Publishing House, Editorial Planeta, 2021.
  6. Marian Rojas Estape, Find your Vitamin Person, original title, Encuentra tu persona vitamina, Espasa, Publishing House, Editorial Planeta, 2021.
  7. Marian Rojas Estape, Find your Vitamin Person, original title, Encuentra tu persona vitamina, Espasa, Publishing House, Editorial Planeta, 2021.
  8. Joseph Maroon, MD with Carrie Kennedy, Med, Square One: A Simple Guide To A Balanced Life, Pythia Publishing, 2017.
  9. Joseph Maroon, MD with Carrie Kennedy, Med, Square One: A Simple Guide To A Balanced Life, Pythia Publishing, 2017.