There’s more to a healthy lifestyle than eating nutritional foods, exercising regularly, drinking water, and getting plenty of sleep. Sure, all of those things are important to maintain your physical health, but now more than ever, scientists are discovering how important mental health is as well. The mind-body connection is the path to creating a healthy lifestyle.

 

What is Mind-Body?
The mind-body connection is understood that your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and feelings can affect your physical functioning both positively and negatively. The health of your mind can affect the overall health of your body. You can eat vegetables all day long but if you’re constantly stressed out, then your health will suffer!

 

The importance of the connection
The mind affects the body, and the body affects the mind. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle means monitoring your stress, anxiety, emotions, and overall mental health. Here are a few examples of how emotional health can take a toll on physical health:

– It is estimated that 95% of all illnesses can be caused or aggravated by stress.

– People with high-stress levels are more likely to catch a common cold.

– Mental health issues such as depression have been linked to heart disease, strokes, and diabetes.

– People with an inability to cope with anger have a greater risk of developing heart arrhythmias.

– Those with substance abuse or mental health problems have a lower life expectancy (decades lower) than the general population.

 

How you can use Mind-Body to create a healthy lifestyle
Convinced now that your mental health is just as important as your physical health? The two must go hand in hand to be a whole, healthy person. Here’s how you can use the mind-body connection to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself:

Exercise regularly
Exercise increases your levels of oxygen and endorphins, making you more alert and more energetic. Individuals who exercise regularly (20 to 30 minutes a day) are less stressed, anxious, depressed and have a greater sense of well-being.

Proper nutrition
Eating healthy foods can reduce physical problems such as fatigue, and give you energy to think faster and more clearly.

Laugh often
Laughter really is the best medicine. It has been found to reduce pain, increase creativity, and speed up the healing process. Make it a priority to spend more time with people who make you laugh.

Get enough sleep
Aim to get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Habitually not getting enough sleep weakens your immune system, contributes to depression and weight gain, and speeds up the aging process.

Keep a positive attitude
A positive attitude can affect your health. How you handle stress can determine how it affects you. A positive attitude also allows you to take a step back and make healthier decisions overall instead of just reacting to the situation.

Be part of a group/community
Being part of a group can provide a sense of purpose and increase longevity, in addition to other physical benefits. One study showed women with metastatic breast cancer who participated in support groups had double the survival rates.

 

Forma’s Mind-Body Offerings
At Forma Gym, we understand how important the mind-body connection is. Our Mind-Body program is designed to facilitate wellness, recovery, and healing by making movement and conscious attention a lifestyle practice. We offer workshops, classes, and various different modalities to help you find the mind-body practice that works for you to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Sara M

Sara M

Sara M. is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and freelance writer living and working near Boston, MA. As a former CrossFit gym owner and current fitness lover, Sara has a lot of personal and professional experience inside and outside the gym. She loves to write about various topics related to health, wellness, nutrition, human behavior, and self-mastery.

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