Most of us know of, or have at least heard of the mind, body connection, but how many of us actually know how this concept works?
In my previous articles on the power of belief we looked at how our beliefs are formed from a tiny fragment of the information available to us and that the internal representations we create are purely our subject view of that event and therefore likely to inaccurate, a good saying that sums this up is the “map is not the territory”.
In Visualisation is like Daydreaming on purpose, I shared the awesome power of visualisation and how I believe it’s daydreaming with a goal or outcome in mind, and that our unconscious mind will work tirelessly in the background helping us to achieve that outcome.
In my article Our Unconscious Mind the Ultimate Powerhouse, I described how the unconscious mind looks after everything outside of our conscious awareness and is quite simply amazing, I plan to share the twenty prime directive of the conscious mind shortly as these will blow you away.
In this article The Mind Body Connection, I’d like to describe how the mind body connection actually works, so that you gain a better understanding of just how amazing you are, and how, when your mind and body are congruent they are a formidable force of nature.
So let’s really get to know ourselves.
Let’s discuss how the mind influences the body and vice versa, and more specifically neurotransmitter, which is the foundation of this principle.
The concept of neurotransmitter is an amazing concept; the human nervous system is a complex and hugely fascinating study.
All across the human body neurons carry signals from one place to another, these neurons link up sense receptors across the entire system to the central nervous system, connecting with organs across the entire body.
When you blink, its neurotransmitter that’s communicated the message to blink from your unconscious mind to the muscle in your eyes, when you produce hormones, its neurotransmitter that communicates the need to produce hormones, neurons are quite literally electric; when a neuron is stimulated it sends an electrical impulse to communicate across the entire nervous system.
When neurotransmitters were first discovered it was thought that they resided only in the brain, then in 1957 Dr Wilder Graves Penfield released early research on memory where he concluded that he believed memory was only stored in the unconscious mind.
However in 1970 Karl Pribram discovered that every experience and memory we create is stored holographically across the whole body and is communicated by Neurotransmitter, which means that every cell is holding every memory that we’ve ever stored, let’s just think about that for a moment, it’s pretty amazing!
Let’s delve a little deeper into this concept, I’m going to keep this pretty simple, so the easiest way to imagine this, is as an electrical circuit. The Neuron has a nucleus that is surrounded by cytoplasm, a kind of sheath which makes up something known as an axon, the axon is like a cable that carries an electrical current which is what it does, just like an electrical cable surrounded and insulated by plastic does, the axon is protected by its sheath which influences how quickly it relays the electrical signal, at the end of the axon are nerve endings which you can think of as exposed wires from an electrical cable, the nerve endings are where the communication is either passed onto another neuron or organ such as a muscle.
There is no direct communication whatsoever between neurons, where two neurons come together there is a small gap called the synapse or synaptic gap, where the communication needs to hop over to continue its journey through the central nervous system,
So what happens is that the information in the form of an electrical impulse flows through the neuron, then at the end of this axon, the impulse meets the synaptic gap which is bathed in neurotransmitter and through this neurotransmitter the impulse is transferred to new molecules, neurons or muscle fibers.
So that is what is going on inside of us every second of every day, and every time we make an internal representation which really is amazing.
Deepak Chopra in his book quantum healing talked about the mind body connection, and how neurotransmitter flows throughout the entire nervous system touching every single neuron, every cell, every synaptic gap and this is how the mind body connection works, which is of course how your mind and your thoughts affect the body.
Physiological reaction to stress includes; increased heart rate. Adrenaline leads to the arousal of the sympathetic nervous system associated with fight or flight mechanism and reduced activity in the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for conserving energy. Adrenaline creates changes in the body such as decreases in digestion and increases sweating, increased pulse and blood pressure
Physiological responses when we get into our flow include; improve subjective well-being, happiness, life satisfaction and positive affect. Flow is found to be correlated with increase performance, higher motivation and engagement, positive moods, and better health and is where the genius inside all of us resides.
And the good news is we can recreate flow states, it’s not easy but we each have the power to do so.
As we’ve already discussed, your brain is the most complex structure known to mankind with 86 billion neurons making 100 trillion connections, it is the most powerful super computer in the world, and there is literally nothing that you can’t achieve if you truly believe in yourself and the potential you have within. In future articles I plan to discuss state management and flow states, the choices we make when faced with life’s challenges and how these impact on our quality of life. I hope you’re enjoying the articles and invite you to comment and share your thoughts.