Exploring the mind/body connection is something we all do but mostly subconsciously. If you are wanting to experience this let’s try an experiment. Close your eyes for a moment and think of your favorite song. Let it play in your mind. Allow it to flow through you. As you do this, pay attention to how you feel as you play the song in your mind. Notice where in your body you have this feeling. Notice its intensity. Notice any desires that are stirred up while playing the song.
Now play a sad song in your mind and repeat. Notice the difference?
So let’s process this experience. How is it that you were able to change how you feel just by thinking about a song? You didn’t actually hear the song, yet you were able to feel exactly what you felt when you last heard it.
It happens because the brain remembers the emotional state it was the last time the song was played and sends commands to the nervous system to feel those feelings again. Think about what this means: the brain is able to change the body’s emotional state just by thought alone. How does this relate to individual counseling?
Just like when thinking about the songs, your mind, when rehearsing the same thoughts over and over again, creates the same emotional state that occurred when you first had the thought. Say you have this thought “I’m worthless and will be alone the rest of my life” and you rehearse it many times in your mind, your body will react as if it were true. Then when situations arise that relate to that thought, your belief in it may become stronger because now you have some “evidence” to support your thought. Over time, the connection between the body and mind becomes so strong that the body reacts with the same feelings without the mind telling it to.
This is true for both negative thoughts and positive thoughts.
Think about what you are thinking about
If you are experiencing a negative mood or emotion, think about the thoughts going through your head. Could they be responsible for your negative mood? One way to discover this would be to keep a thought record, which is a tool to help you notice the types of thoughts running through your brain and help you reframe them.
There is a vast amount of knowledge related to the mind/body connection, and it is worth taking the time to learn more about it. For more information please contact us.