The Body Mind Connection to Happiness
The Mind & Thoughts
Your mind (the psychological realm) and your body (the physical realm) exert an influence upon each other. This is known as the Body-Mind connection. The psychological realm relates to your thoughts, emotions and memories. The physical realm relates to your organs, bones, nerves, muscles, glands etc.
Thoughts and Beliefs
Whilst genetics and the environment affect your thoughts it is your belief system that determines how you respond to events and situations and the decisions you make. Many people associate the word ‘beliefs’ with religion, but the term beliefs encompasses all the various views and opinions that people hold towards any of the subjects about life that exist.
Every perception that a person holds is determined by a belief and every response a person makes to a situation is also governed by that person’s current beliefs. Your beliefs get changed when you receive enough new data to give you reasons why you should take on that new belief. Your mind uses its current belief system to interpret and assess the event it is encountering and then it finds possible appropriate responses and puts these into action to respond to what it believes best suits the situation.
We often judge our response to an event as right or wrong however, we simply made the decision according to the information/beliefs we held at the time. You could not have made a different decision because the response was only a result of the information you had at the time. You can later learn from this situation. With the new information which was gained you will then be able to make a different decision next time. This is all part of the way we learn and how we change our beliefs.
Generally, we have some beliefs which hold greater importance than others. For example we may believe that our children’s’ wellbeing is most important. If our children are well we feel okay to go out however if our children are sick we prioritize by staying home. What actually causes us stress is when two beliefs hold equal value within our belief system, e.g., you are faced with the decision about spending Christmas with your family or your partner’s family. So let’s examine what is actually causing the stress and the unhappiness.
Causes of the stress/unhappiness:
1. The fear of making the wrong decision.
2. The ‘should’ statement, i.e., ‘I should know what to do!
3. The expectation (from yourself and others) to make the right decision.
If you can understand that there is no right or wrong decision, this will alleviate some of the stress. You make the best decision you can with the current information you have. If another party reacts to the decision it is simply an indication they need to look at their own beliefs.
‘Should’ statements inevitably cause psychological stress as they imply we must be doing something or must know what to do. If you accept that you learn new information as a result of whatever you experience from your decision, it does not matter whether or not you know what you ‘should’ do because you will learn from the outcome of your decision regardless of what the outcome is. This way you reduce the stress of the decision making process.
Everyone around us is at different levels of development and we only grow and develop through experiences. Every person on this planet is both a teacher and a pupil. We are constantly learning from others and they in turn learn from us. My favorite saying is: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
The beliefs you hold are a product of the events you have already encountered or observed in life including beliefs obtained through your upbringing. Your beliefs are responsible for your actions and your psychological stress.
Your belief system can not only cause psychological stress but it can also contribute to physical stress on your body. Knowing which thoughts/beliefs are in harmony with a healthy functional physical body and which thoughts/beliefs contribute to physical disease is helpful in creating a healthy physiology. Beliefs are all of your opinions, views, values, and attitudes that you hold as to how factors in life need to be. Some of your beliefs are conscious, i.e., you are aware of them, whilst most are unconscious.
Unconscious beliefs are formed as a result of your interpretation of the world; they are ways of trying to explain the world around you. People take on the attitudes and thought patterns of those around them which then become their unconscious beliefs.
We establish our beliefs as very little children and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. A belief system can be what an individual is willing to accept without direct verification by experience or without supporting evidence.
How did you become unhappy? By continuing with the same thoughts and ideas, which led to the same feelings/emotions, you produced the same actions which led to the same unfulfilling life (results).
The simple diagram below shows how you will achieve the same results if you keep thinking the same thoughts. So changing your thoughts is the first step to changing the results!
Thoughts → Emotions → Actions → Results
Understanding the body-mind relationship is the key to optimal health and happiness. If you continue to replay the same negative thoughts and feelings that have burdened you for years you will continue to have the same physiology and life situations. This means your thoughts can actually create unpleasant feelings and even cause physical illness in the body.
The first step to make positive change in your life is to take action by reading the book FEELING FAB.
For more info on this go to http://www.feelingfabforever.com and get the book FEELING FAB.
Author Yasmin Bartlett