Where the mind goes, the body will follow
One of the most fascinating things I have learnt about the human body and the mind, outside the realm of the psychology classroom, was in a physical education lesson. The teacher was teaching his students about balance, and he stated that “wherever your head goes, your body follows”. This is a very interesting concept, but I think we can apply it not only to our physiological selves, but also our mental selves.
The mind is a powerful instrument and one that is now being explored by a variety of different specialists. New breakthroughs in the psychological field, including functional neurological disorder (FND), have for the first time brought physician and psychologist together into the same room to solve the more complex illnesses the individuals present with. Seemingly for the first time, sciences have come together based upon a premise I came across years before I undertook psychological training. This premise does not have to apply to the new and upcoming discoveries within mental health, but can also apply to the issues we face throughout our life, for example, anxiety and depression.
As an individual, if you do not take proper care of your mental health your physical health can suffer. Sometimes the body will even create situations whereby it will exacerbate or mimic symptoms that make us feel unwell as an attempt to send us a message. The most common occurrence of this would be if an individual is overworking, and they are pushing themselves too hard, then the body will instigate a tactic to slow you down. If someone believes they are in a situation where they feel they need to avoid something, then anxiety-related symptoms occur to provide an excuse to avoid a particular situation.
The most unnerving of them all is that sometimes the mind knows there is something wrong and it will instruct the body to feel unwell, but there may be no explanation for the discomfort or pain. This could be because there is an undiscovered issue, or a deep-rooted issue that may need exploration via further physiological exploration (by seeing a doctor), or by looking into the mind and seeing if there is anything there that is holding you back because you haven’t addressed it yet (psychological approach).
The most important thing to remember is that when you are looking at the physiological and psychological needs of yourself, remember that it is a very important, delicate balance we must maintain. Not only is there a need for regular exercise and good diet, but also there is a need to ensure that our minds are in good working order. To make sure that this is happening, this could be as simple as taking a break, or ensuring that we exercise our minds by exposing them to new things and different concepts and ideas.
Talking therapies are not just about resolving issues, but it can be a process where you’re talking to a neutral party about things that matter to you, and that could just be re-arranging your priorities so you get the most out of life. The only individual who will take the first steps and maintain your best interests in terms of your own physical and mental health is you. Make 2019 your year to put your health first.