Mind-body therapies are techniques formulated to improve one’s mental health, particularly the body and mind connection. These techniques include social, spiritual, psychological, behavioral, and psychological approaches. Awareness of this significant connection is most certainly not new. However, it would seem unfamiliar to a few people from the West, where the body and mind have been conventionally seen as unique entities for centuries. But this view is quickly transforming as experts scientifically prove the various connections between the body and mind.
In this article, we will be focusing our attention on the three most common forms of mind-body therapies – meditation, prayer, and yoga.
In mindfulness meditation, one learns to pay attention to his breath as he inhales and exhales and observes when the mind loses track of the task. This strategy of returning to one’s breath strengthens the muscles of mindfulness and attention.
When we focus on how we breathe, we learn how to go back to and remain within the moment to attach ourselves to the present purposely without any criticism or judgment. Meditation does not cure everything, but it can definitely offer some badly needed space and relaxation in our lives. Occasionally, that is what we require to make better decisions for our families and ourselves.
The most vital tools you can carry with you throughout your practice are kindness, patience, and a cozy space to sit. Some of the many reasons to meditate include:
- Reduce your stress
- Recognize and know your pain
- Lessen brain chatter
- Make better connections
- Improve concentration
Prayer has quite a profound definition emerging from a person’s spiritual practice or religious background. For others, prayer means a group of sacred phrases, and for some, it might be more of an informal conversation or simply listening to a higher power or God.
“Prayer” originated from precarious, a Latin word that means “attained by begging.” Prayer is grounded on the belief that a power greater than ourselves exists and can tremendously impact our lives. Prayer is the act of raising our minds and hearts to the Almighty.
Prayer is equally crucial from a healthcare point of view merely because it is utilized so broadly. Surveys show that almost 90% of patients with severe diseases will turn to prayer to relieve their disease and anguish. Among the types of complementary medicine, prayer is the most commonly used healing modality. Studies done by researchers from the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health claim that prayer is the second most popularly used modality for pain management and the most widely used non-drug tool for pain management.
Below are some explanations provided regarding how prayer improves mental health:
- Placebo Reaction. Prayer can improve an individual’s opportunities and expectations, leading to a positive effect on mental health.
- Relaxation Reaction. Prayer produces a relaxation reaction, which decreases blood pressure and other elements involved in increasing stress.
- Healing Presence. Many people agree that prayer brings a sense of healing or spiritual presence and connection with the Almighty.
- Mind-Spirit-Body Connection. As prayer pacifies or inspires, it blocks the surge of cortisol, thus decreasing the negative effects of stress on the body’s different systems, including the brain.
Recovery and healing starts when we begin fixating our thoughts towards the goal and as our behaviors reflect those thoughts. The body-mind complex is truly authentic. Yoga is an ageless Indian practice that has existed for thousands of years already. It has been utilized to aid people in finding relaxation, peace, good health, and healing in their lives.
The specific postures that yoga integrates usually reflect the messages and emotions that we wish to express, whether it’s audacity, openness, love, or something else. Popular articles have published that yoga is grounded on personification, defined as “the fundamental hypothesis that the brain is not the only source that we have to solve our problems.”
Yoga entails a body-mind dualism, with the idea that the body’s processes ultimately influence the mind. Yoga positions transform our perceptions and senses, as well as how we see others and ourselves. We get a more holistic outlook of the reason for our existence when we attempt to connect with our bodies through the poses that we do. In fact, some yoga poses have been proven to either promote more contemplative well-being or activate the mind, which opens an opportunity to have a mind-body experience, particularly for those who regularly practice.
The spirit, body, and mind are all geared towards holistic practice, as these three are what build each individual’s general health and happiness. By strengthening the body-mind connection, the spirit, too, can be made more whole with the individual’s wants, needs, wishes, and life objectives. Establishing these may need time, but, indeed, yoga is a great way to start.