The Mind Body Relationship: Curious about ways to balance your anxiety, depression, or post-partum emotions?
The body is a stealth listener to the mind, and the mind to the body. Practicing awareness of the interplay between the mind and body can be an empowering tool to make us more resilient in the face of stress. Most of us don’t always pay attention to this valuable connection between our thoughts and physical experiences, but conventional medicine is now echoing what ancient- holistic- health philosophies have been saying all along: mindfulness practices such as meditation, breathing, movement and more- does impact our physiology in positive ways!
As a Naturopathic Doctor and Ayurveda Practitioner, I love helping patients take a look at the root causes of their illnesses and initiate changes that shift them towards health. With prolonged stress being a common root cause of chronic disease- I teach simple mindfulness techniques that can mitigate illness and establish more peace, happiness and energy within daily life. Here are my favourite 5 self-care practices that can help develop more awareness of the connection between the body and mind. These strategies can be used daily or weekly to develop momentum towards living with optimal health.
- Morning Body Scan
As soon as you wake up each morning- don’t reach for your phone or jump into your day. First, take 5-10 minutes to become aware of your body and breath. Notice how lengthening your exhale can create more peace.
- Nurture with Nature
Spend time outdoors, walking by trees or bodies of water. The sun, oxygen and vitality received from being in nature is enlivening and nurturing for your system.
- Mindful Movement
30 minutes of physical activity per day has been shown to help alleviate depression and anxiety. Also consider mindful movement practices such as Yoga or Qi Gong to create more tranquility.
Take time each day or night to massage your feet, hands, or legs with a natural oil or lotion. This can help you become more connected to the sensations of your body and assess places where you might be holding tension.
Contemplating what you are thankful for in your life has been shown to increase happy neurochemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. Gratitude contemplation can also help with shifting your mind into a state of relaxation and away from stress or anxiety related thoughts.
Meet the author
Dr. Sairupa Krishnamurti is a Canadian Licensed Naturopathic Doctor working at City Osteo and Physio in Singapore. She is also an Ayurveda Practitioner and loves to infuse constitutional analysis alongside functional testing in her practice. She sees both acute and difficult chronic health conditions.