We’re brought up in a world where we’re conditioned to use our head for everything, think logically about everything, plan ahead and so on. We study to fill our heads, we absorb information into our heads in class, don’t speak just listen, think things through.
Since being born we’ve been anchored into thinking that the mind and the body are separate, the mind controls and the body does. Even when the word “mind” is used, most automatically think of the brain, when in reality, our whole being is our mind. Our nervous system spreads throughout our entire body, sending speedy signals back and forth to convey information about things like movement, pain, balance, temperature, vision, sounds, smell, tastes and a massive multitude of many other senses. These are all linked to the brain and feed it information, while simultaneously taking orders from the control centre of our brain, some orders are even subconscious. A few subconscious examples would be heartbeat, breathing. blinking, digestion, blood-flow, peristalsis and body-temperature regulation, thank evolution for all that!
The point is that we tend to forget about what our body feels and how it reacts just because the mind overshadows it. You’re not your brain, you are so much more than that. Think of the body’s nervous system as our roots, roots that lead down to the ground like a plant’s would. Going further up, we have the leaves and thorns and such we could metaphorically say are things like our limbs. Finally, up at the top we have the flower in all it’s glory, which is the brain, but this flower wouldn’t exist without those important roots.
I personally believe that we need to listen to our bodies more instead of being stuck in our heads 24/7. Staying in the head means we tend to over think things instead of actually doing them. We also hold back natural reactions and ways of expression which gets bottled up, we need to let it out through bodily means. I think that exercise is by far the best way to accomplish this and let out the bodily expression that gets held back by hermit-ting in our heads all the time.
Exercise and good diet paired with intellectually stimulating activities such as reading, writing, talking/debating, listening and more ensures a healthy equilibrium between the mind and body, like a sort of Yin and Yang, both need to be present and in healthy amounts to be complete. Unfortunately though, many people seem to neglect the body part of the see-saw, the yang. I would advise them to find a physical activity that they enjoy and can set personal goals for themselves within this, be it a sport, solitary running or weightlifting, trampolining, hiking, swimming, almost anything that gets the body moving and the heart beating!
I believe having a healthy balance of body and mind (even though by mind I mean every bit of you) people in general would live more happier lives and some mental illnesses such as depression would be less abundant.
Try and make a change today if you think you may be out of balance, what have you got to lose by trying?
Featured Image: ©Daniela Hartmann