The Mind-Body Connection 

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Have you ever felt sick to your stomach when you hear bad news about a loved one? Or felt that squishy feeling when you see the love of your life? Or the paralysis that comes in a moment of terror? These are examples of the mind-body connection. 

The mind-body connection is very real and important to your health and well-being. Your emotions cause a biochemical reaction in your body, which lead to these short-lived physical sensations. We can think of plenty of others — little kids who can’t sit still when they get excited, a sudden tiredness after a good cry, and so on. 

I love this photo by Camilo Rueda López. Extraordinary

These biochemical reactions also happen when we think negatively about other situations in life, or are in the middle of negative situations (like a bad job or bad relationship), which can lead to depression. Not just a down day or “having the blues,” but full-on depression. 

Negative self-talk can very much affect your mood and view on life. If your outlook focuses on failure, and you think you’ll fail, then you’ll do exactly that, and will become unhappy with your current situation. Efforts to rise above it will be hampered by your further negativity, and you won’t progress. 

I realize many people believe this is the easier way to deal with difficult situations and life problems, but it actually only leads to more and bigger problems. You get depressed, eat more, exercise less and separate yourself from people. The brain releases chemicals that can cause physical ailments, like heart problems. This is a position no one wants to be in, but they don’t necessarily realize a positive mental attitude is the first step to getting out. 

How do you combat these reactions and nurture your mind-body connection? Become aware with what you are thinking and feeling, and work through obstacles. I also work out regularly to keep my body, and therefore my mind, healthy and strong. Not only does your mind affect your body, your body affects your mind. When I’m not taking care of my body, it affects my mind and feelings. I have to choose to feel great and do the right thing for myself for the sake of who I am. 

One of my jobs as a life coach is to help other people find that same positive energy and attitude and use it to propel themselves to bigger and better things in their own lives. But even if you never work with a life coach, it starts with your attitude as soon as you wake up. If you can get out of bed and give yourself some positive self-talk and praise, you’re going to be able to talk yourself into bigger and better situations. 

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Dr. Alex Ledgister is not your typical “Success Coach.” The former Marine who holds a Ph.D.

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