The Connection Between Body And Mind
The connection between our bodies and our minds may seem obvious at face value. Still, integrating all our parts as physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental beings have long been one of the most explored elements of human life. The reason this topic has been pondered and discussed for so long isn’t lack of information or experience, but the sheer vastness of it. Science has discovered remarkable things about how each aspect of our being relates to the other aspects and even relates to other beings. There is reason to believe that not only is each part of our individual being deeply connected but perhaps we are all connected in similar ways.
It seems pretty obvious that the body and mind are connected, right? We all just kind of realize that it’s true, but maybe we don’t explore much of what it really means. What is the mind, really? It’s pretty common to associate the mind with the brain, which is surely part of our physical body. Just like when we think about emotions or spiritual matters, we attach those to the heart or to a chakra (which is also aligned with various physical organs). We acknowledge our physical body and we understand our thinking/feeling/spiritual life on some level. So we just attach that right to a physical part of ourselves for easy reference. This system certainly helps us better relate to ourselves and our experiences. It can also aid in cataloging and understanding, even if it isn’t accurate. But the internal organs known as the brain and the heart hold no thoughts or emotions — they simply perform vital functions for our physical body.
So why is it that when we feel anxious, stressed, or scared, we get an elevated heart rate or a pounding headache? When we eat too much junk food, why do we start to feel depressed emotionally? For those of us who are alcoholics and addicts, we may wonder why we treated our spiritual malady with alcohol or substances (or both) before recovery. We all know the spiritual malady — it’s that aching deep in our soul, the spiritual pain we can’t escape even though we try, the hole in our gut that keeps us from living. It’s a big part of our alcoholism and addiction and it’s one of the biggest and most rewarding results of the 12-Step program, learning how to treat and heal this spiritual malady by methods besides deadly alcohol and substance abuse. But when we tried to treat this spiritual pain with harmful chemicals, substances, and behaviors, why did they primarily affect our physical body?
Perhaps it’s because our body and mind are more deeply and intimately connected than we ever realized. Indeed, it seems likely that all the elements of our being, no matter how mysterious, are intertwined to the point of being nearly inseparable. There is nothing that affects our physical body that does not also affect other parts of us, perhaps even all our parts. Think about how sometimes we can feel such intense emotional pain that we get dizzy, tired, nauseous, or feel physical pain as well. Or how when we abuse our body, it has a negative impact on the condition of our spirit, the clarity of our mind, and the stability of our emotions. Even in recovery, we can easily fall into a bad pattern of attempting to treat our spiritual, mental, or emotional issues with a substance or behavior other than alcohol or drugs. We may not lose our sobriety, but we jeopardize our recovery when we again fall into that alcoholic and addict trap of trying to treat our inner pains with outer mechanisms.
This is such a common occurrence because we are unconsciously aware of how deeply connected every part of our being really is. It’s incredibly important to recognize that the interconnectedness of our entire being works both ways, not just negatively. A junk food binge can ease our aching heart for a moment but punish our physical body. The “opposite action” of going for a short walk can not only ease our heartache but gives us mental clarity, spiritual wellness, and improves our physical condition. The connectivity between all the things that make us us is inescapable, but it can also work in our favor.
The deep connection between mind, body, and spirit is why we at Jaywalker Lodge believe so strongly in holistic healing. Working the 12-Step program is a wonderful experience for anyone struggling with alcoholism and addiction. As we work the 12-Steps, we find ourselves being helped and healing on multiple levels at once. Our mind gets clearer, our emotions stabilize, and our spirit begins to open and grow. Sobriety and recovery have an almost immediate positive effect on our physical body as well. As we experience this growth and healing across all areas of our being, we can see how their connectedness can generate incredible positive momentum. Even small positive actions or practices in any one area can benefit everything else because they are so tightly interwoven.
Alcoholism and addiction are a disease that can wreak havoc on every element of our lives, from physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual destruction to the devastation of our work lives, home lives, friendships, and relationships. Indeed, those who suffer from this disease often experience tremendous consequences throughout all aspects of human life. Thankfully, there is a solution. The 12-Step program of spiritual action has helped so many alcoholics and addicts recover and begin the healing and restoration process in every area of their lives. We can help you recover from this deadly and destructive disease as well. It has long been said that a healthy spirit yields a healthy mind, and a healthy mind yields a healthy body. At Jaywalker Lodge, we are ready to help you begin the holistic process of recovery. Whether you are new to wanting help or have tried before, we have been in your shoes and we can show you what worked for us. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.