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March 12, 2009
Is There a Connection between the Mind and the Body?
Absolutely. Picture in your mind’s eye the following: You are picking up a firm, bright yellow lemon. Then, you slice it in half, and a few squirts of juice hit your face, and your fingertips get soaked. Bring the lemon up to your nose, and take a whiff. Lick the cut surface of the lemon. Take a bite.
If you noticed an increased flow of saliva in your mouth as you read the description, you have observed how the mind can affect the body. Just thinking about the lemon caused measurable changes in your body. If you had no response, read the paragraph more slowly, concentrating on each phrase, pausing between phrases, really trying to imagine yourself tasting the lemon.
The mind can affect the body, and the body can affect the mind. Pain, fatigue, medications, and hormonal imbalances can affect mood, concentration, and other functions of the mind.
A new field of science, psychoneuroimmunology, is investigating the relationship between the mind and the body. Research is starting to reveal some of the mechanisms by which the mind interacts with the body. It is hoped that we will soon be able to harness and amplify the beneficial healing powers of the mind.
Given that the mind and the body are connected, several questions arise: How much does the mind affect the body? How much can the mind affect the body? Does your mind cause you to develop cancer? Can your mind heal cancer or prevent recurrence?
Are There Different Types of Stress?
Negative stress is stress that makes you feel bad or overtaxes you. Divorce, financial worries, and job insecurity are examples of negative emotional stresses. Starvation and frequent marathon running are examples of negative physical stresses.
Positive stress is stress that energizes you. Projects and promotions are examples of positive emotional stresses. Daily aerobic exercise and a low-fat diet when you need to lose weight are examples of positive physical stresses.
Whether something is a positive or a negative stress for you depends on how you respond to it. What is energizing and fun for one person may be fatiguing and depressing for you.
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