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  • Katherine Finn

The Mind - Body Loop

The mind and the body are on a loop. Hence why feelings of anxiety often manifest themselves physically e.g. headaches, fatigue, sleep problems, skin complaints such as psoriasis and eczema, facial tics, I.B.S. … However, the good news is that we can use this knowledge to our advantage and allow our mind to help calm our body and vice versa.

When you utilise your senses and acknowledge what you do that makes you feel good there’s a chemical response in the brain that produces various neurotransmitters which act as catalysts for mentally healthy behaviour.

Let’s start with the mind … Look through photos and focus on happy memories or make a countdown chart towards an event in the future. Prioritise time to engage in your hobbies e.g. playing or creating music, cooking, gardening, painting, sewing, watching movies or reading. Create a routine or structure to your day to feel anchored, motivated, more productive and in control. Acknowledge the benefits of just being still for a while every day whether this is simply quiet time to totally switch off and relax e.g. in a bubble bath, listening to an audio book or podcast or engaging your imagination in guided relaxation (my half hour recording is available for free to download from my website. Make the most of the countryside, experience nature and notice the beauty of the changing seasons. Keep in touch with friends or family and expand your horizons by making connections and exchanging news. Laugh! It is the best medicine!

And don’t forget to tune in to your body too… Notice your posture and facial expressions - actively stand tall or sit up straight, drop your shoulders and hold your head high, make eye contact and smile at your own reflection and those around you. Spritz yourself with your favourite perfume or aftershave. Hug your loved ones. Take regular exercise because it isn’t just good for your body – it’s also good for your brain – a proven stress buster that lifts your mood to fight anxiety and depression. Breathe! Regulating your breath can calm you and help create space in your mind – find a rectangle (e.g. a picture frame, window, phone or tablet screen, book) and follow the edges with your eyes as you guide your breath around it, inhaling along the short side and exhaling along the long side and notice the difference. And remember sleep is a weapon!

Just a few ideas to keep you going…


BA (Hons), DipSFH, Reg AfSFH, CNHC, NCP

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