Your mind can be that powerful it can affect how healthy your body is. What you think, feel and believe can leave either positive or negative effects on your biological functioning.
It also goes the same with what you do with your body. What you eat or how often you exercise can affect your mental state positively or negatively as well.
The Power of Mind-Body Connection
Many things in our lives can disrupt us mentally such as getting fired from a job, dealing with the passing of a loved one, or suffering from an illness or injury. These can cause us to feel sad, stressed or anxious.
Our body responds to whatever we think, feel and do. This is a type of mind-body connection.
When you’re stressed, anxious or upset, your body responds in a way that might tell you that something is wrong.
But through the mind-body connection, you can also use your thoughts to positively influence some of your body’s physical responses, which can help reduce stress or any negative effects caused by your mind.
Improved Quality of Life
Mind-body exercises such as Pilates and yoga can be beneficial for physical and mental well-being. They promote inner mental focus, concentrate on muscular movements, synchronise these movements with breathing, and focus on body form and alignment.
Not only do mind-body exercises promote physical and mental wellness, they also benefit the immune system and the nervous system. Other than that, they provide physical benefits such as better flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, balance and stability, muscle strength and power, and endurance.
Generally, mind-body exercises can help change the way you perceive a situation and deal with it. They help you be in control, improve your confidence and activate healing processes within your body. You become aware of your thoughts, feelings, and even breathing changes or any other symptoms.
In a literature review, the researchers reviewed 16 publications that suggest that mind-body practices have positive effects on people with post-stress traumatic disorder (PSTD). These benefits include reduced anxiety, depression, and anger. The mind-body practices also increased their pain tolerance, self-esteem, energy levels, ability to relax, and ability to cope with stressful situations .
People with PSTD suffer from social and interpersonal problems, as well as poor quality of life caused by long-term presence of intrusive avoidant and extreme symptoms that characterize the disorder.
Mind-body exercises can also improve depression, activities of daily living and mobility in stroke survivors. In a recent study, the researchers reviewed other studies focused on mind-body exercises and analysed the findings to evaluate how effective they are in stroke rehabilitation .
The findings of the study are significant because many stroke survivors have different degrees of depression and functional capacity, which can affect their quality of life.
Another study of stroke patients showed that Pilates can be used as a remedial exercise program to improve physical ability and quality of life. It involved 40 chronic stroke patients divided into experimental group and control group. The experimental group participated in a 60-minute Pilates training program, twice a week for 12 weeks. On the other hand, the control group did not participate in any exercise-related activities. Results show that the experimental group experienced significant improvement in physical, social and psychological aspects whilst the control group had no improvement .
Mind-body exercises can help boost your physical and emotional health. If you think you need to have your mind and body work harmoniously, we recommend joining our Reformer Pilates class.
To learn more about our Reformer Pilates service – click here.
- Kim SH, Schneider SM, Kravitz L, Mermier C, Burge MR. Mind-body Practices for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Journal of investigative medicine : the official publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research. 2013;61(5):827-834. doi:10.231/JIM.0b013e3182906862.
- Zou L, Yeung A, Zeng N, et al. Effects of Mind-Body Exercises for Mood and Functional Capabilities in Patients with Stroke: An Analytical Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018;15(4):721. doi:10.3390/ijerph15040721.
- Yun S-M, Park S-K, Lim HS. Influence of pilates training on the quality of life of chronic stroke patients. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2017;29(10):1830-1835. doi:10.1589/jpts.29.1830.