'All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.' - Buddha
I was invited to hear social psychologist Professor Amy Cuddy at a Harvard Business School talk last week at the Cafe Royal. Amy argues that not only do our non-verbal communications govern how others think and feel about us, they also have a significant effect on how we feel about ourselves, i.e. 'your body language shapes who you are'. She links our body language to our feelings, physiology and behaviour. So if you act powerfully - even for as little as 2 minutes - you begin to think powerfully - and this will also change your body's testosterone and cortisol levels and more... ultimately, it could change your life!
I have believed for as long as I can remember that our non-verbals count for a lot. The physical affects the mental, emotional and spiritual and vice versa.
You can try an experiment right now - if you are worried or concerned about anything at present - just smile and look up - don't things feel better already? We all look better when we smile anyway - but the pure physiology of smiling and looking up allows the endorphins to kick in and just that simple physical change can make you feel better! Yah.
Here are 10 ideas that help me with the Mind/Body connection - I hope you find them helpful too:
1.) Your emotions affect your health so be aware of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Poor emotional health can weaken your body's immune system making you more likely to get colds and flu and other infections during emotionally difficult times - especially at this time of year! I so believe in meditation to bring your emotions into balance by guided thought which ultimately calms your mind and body.
2.) Mind/body therapies can be helpful in managing arthritis and other chronic pain conditions. Focus on what you would like to happen and believe you can have it - it really is a mind game. Intelligence is an inner form of beauty.
3.) Food affects both our bodies and minds. Eat nutritious primal foods daily - they have a high vibrational count which is good for the spirit too. When you eat simply but well you are satiated and you can throw away the diet books!
4.) Regular sleep is a must for mind and body to maintain healthy serotonin levels - lack of sleep stresses our bodies and eats away at our health.
5.) We need to teach in schools how to use our minds. If you can spend a little time each day clearing your thoughts and becoming aware of your inner self, you will accelerate your spiritual development. My meditation is 30 minutes in the park amongst nature, fresh air and peace.
6.) Be gentle - for that shows great strength. I truly believe humanity is going through a massive shift at the moment into a whole new energy and level of consciousness - we are coming into a much more feminine energy era - where that hard nosed male, old fashioned, city aggressiveness will not work - there is a better, gentler way to connect with people in business and personal life.
7.) Walk your talk with honesty and integrity - people will feel when you're not, by your non-aligned body language.
8.) Harness the power of your mind. The subconscious mind is a million times more powerful than the conscious mind - so it's worth getting to know how it works and understanding that past experiences stored in the subconscious can still be affecting our minds today! If you change your beliefs and attitudes you can change your life.
9.) In Buddhism the thing that they call 'me' is in fact our mind and Buddhists can, with training, greatly reduce even physical pain by controlling the actions of one's mind. How empowering is that? They also know that all we send out into the world, will in some way, shape or form, return and this process takes some interval of time and is called karma. Worth remembering with your mind power hat on.
10.) Keep a gratitude journal of all the things in your life you are grateful for and keep adding to it. Make time for the things you enjoy.
If all else fails try reading Norman Cousins' book on how he cured himself of a fatal disease with laughter! I have always chosen people I work with who make me laugh. Make sure you have those comedy movies to hand too...
PS My Leadership Speech is worth a read if you enjoyed this - would love to hear if you did!
'An unquestioned mind is a world of suffering.' - Byron Katie