What you think and feel impacts your physical body. Conversely, how you feel physically impacts your thoughts and emotions. For instance, if you feel butterflies in your stomach your mind will immediately try to find a reason as to why you are feeling this way. ‘I must be nervous about my upcoming presentation…I’m running so late, all eyes will be on me as I tip toe into the classroom.’ You may feel chills down your spine while thinking, ‘this person gives me the creeps…I can feel it in my body…I should get out of here.’ Or perhaps you feel sick to your stomach and tension in your neck and shoulders due to worrying that your family member is late for dinner. You notice your mind actively thinking of one negative possibility after another. ‘Where is she…she should be here by now…I’ve never known her to be late without calling or texting, what if something happened to her.’ These are all examples of the connection of your body and mind.
Validation of the mind-body connection is demonstrated scientifically via the dedication of an entire field of study called Psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology. Yes, we agree this is a very long word. When broken down this simply refers to the study of the connection between the brain, nervous system, immune system and endocrine system and its implications on health and wellbeing. At some point this word will become even longer as new systems are identified as relevant to this connection. Essentially the body is in the mind and the mind is in the body. We can thus consider this to be the study of the bodymind.
Hilary Stokes Ph.D. and Kim Ward Ph.D. have been a team for 20 years, specializing in mind, body, spirit psychology. They are the authors of the bestselling books The Happy Map: Your roadmap to the habit of happiness and Manifesting Mindset: The 6-step formula for attracting your goals and dreams and founders of Authenticity Associates Coaching and Counseling. They are passionate about combining the best of holistic and traditional approaches to health and happiness. If you are interested in learning the answers to the most frequently asked questions on how to decrease stress and increase happiness sign up for their free video series.