Mind/Body Connection in the Control of Anxiety

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Dr. Purushothaman
January 16, 2014


Your thoughts and emotions can bring about physical manifestations that are either positive or negative. A beaming smile at the thought of a loved one is a healthy outward show of affection. When the thought of a dear friend elicits an uncontrollable smile, this is one example of a mind/body connection. On the flip side, someone who is filled with dread at the thought of participating in a social gathering and who suddenly “freezes up” at the event is displaying a negative physical manifestation of the connection.
The connection is a remarkable and powerful tool, capable of controlling a clinical illness such as anxiety disorder. That being said, although a widely known and freely used term, it comes with an elusive definition. It makes the purpose of healing anxiety disorders more difficult to accomplish. A definitive understanding of mind and body connection and how it works is the only way someone who suffers from its debilitating attacks will be able to control the symptoms.
What is Mind/Body Connection, Really?
One of the reasons why it is difficult to define it, is because it is still not wholly understood, yet it has been known since ancient Greek times. Essentially it is a biochemical connection. Chemicals in the form of neurotransmitters and hormones send messages between the body and brain which produce an emotional response.
In times of stress for example, neurotransmitters such as adrenaline and noradrenaline are activated and the body prepares for “fight or flight.” Heartbeat raises, blood pressure increases, and hormones increase their secretions (example: cold sweat). Impulses quicken, and your awareness of a threat intensifies and exaggerates. When fear becomes the lens through which you see the world, it is impossible to think rationally.
Anxiety: How Mind/Body Applications Help
Irrational fear is where panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and phobias enter. An anxiety disorder is another blanket term used to describe mild to severe forms of the illness. Mild forms are considered normal, and everyone at some point will experience anxious moments and episodes of irrational fears, but it is not prolonged.
An anxiety disorder is believed to be a treatable mental illness, affecting 40 million adults in the United States. Women are twice as likely to develop panic disorders, while both men and women are equally affected by social anxiety disorder.
Relaxation techniques: are effective mind and body applications that overtime shift a person's subconscious, emotional thought patterns from negative to positive. You can enrol in classes which follow relaxation methods such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga. Some people find massages, spa treatments, and acupuncture calming ways to transfer a negative flow of energy.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: is another successful technique used to change your perception of reality by altering your self-talk. The therapy teaches you how to use your thoughts to impact your world, positively. It involves affirmations, learning not to take life challenges personally, and opting out of jobs and relationships which have negative energies.
The mind/body connection can be the answer for many people suffering from anxiety disorders. When first learning the therapies for calming the mind, be patient, their effectiveness will come with practice and time.


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