Connecting the mind and body
Today for Brightly Alex Mental Health Monday, we're talking about the body. I'm learning how connected my mind and body are to each other and how the way that my body functions affects my brain.
Thinking about this first started when I began experiencing panic attacks. If I was alone and a panic attack came on, it usually helped to jump in the shower. I would pay attention to the soothing feeling of the warm water on my skin, listen to the quiet hum of the water falling and the take in the smells of my soap. Paying attention to all my senses helped to take my mind off of the anxiety I was experiencing.
If I was with my husband when a panic attack started, getting a big, long hug always helped. Feeling the warmth of another human while breathing in his familiar scent was the most comforting and calming thing I could experience.
Now that my intense panic attacks are less common, I have a lot more brain space to focus on what helps my body to feel best, which in turn helps my anxiety lessen.
These days, focusing on the connection of my mind and body looks more like taking good care of my body. I go on daily walks (most days, unless it's 5 degrees out like it is today. My dedication only goes so far). I plan out my lunches even though I work from home, to make sure I'm eating regular meals. I'm growing more conscious of getting in all my essential vitamins through lots of veggies, and a variety of them. I'm drinking less coffee throughout the day, which typically spikes my anxiety. I have been taking a lot of baths, drawing out the experience of that full body warmth. I take every chance I can for some extra hugs or snuggling time with my husband.
Our bodies and minds are connected and there are many ways we can utilize this connected for our advantage. I plan on continuing to pay attention to how what I do to my body effects my emotions, brain state and overall mental health, and I hope you feel inspired to do the same!