This week the ADOFitness trainers will be addressing topics we get asked a lot of questions about. This week coach Trista talks about the importance of mind body connection and mental health.
We often hear about the importance of mind muscle connection when it comes to activation and training effectively. However the mind-body connection is important throughout our everyday lives and crucial to our well being. Our attitudes, thoughts, and emotions impact our mental health and the decisions we make everyday. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “it all begins and ends in your mind” and this is true. Mindset can make all the difference in the quality of life. One of the most common aspects of mental health that we all need to learn to harness is stress. The purpose of the stress response is to keep us alive or away from physical harm. Ask yourself, how many times you have been in a life threatening situation in the past month? Now how many times have you been “stressed out” over non life threatening events. No event in life is inherently stressful. It is our perception of events that create a stress response. We have the power to take control and reframe how we interpret things that happen to us.Choose your thoughts wisely: sad or depressing thoughts actually produce changes in brain chemistry and physiology. It leads to a lowered immune system causing your body to be vulnerable to illness. Where happy positive, and tranquil thoughts have a corresponding influx of neurotransmitters and hormones throughout the central nervous system, boosting immunity. Anger and hostility produces the same reactions in the body as the stress response, especially elevated blood pressure. When we hold on to anger we hold on to poison.

What all these thoughts and emotions have in common with behavior is they affect our cognitive abilities. They cause us to make unfavorable choices, particularly bad habits with food. Often times an individual will turn to food as a way to cope with stress or sadness. Bingeing is common as a response to stress. We are looking for a way to avoid or numb the discomfort we are feeling, however the chemical reaction in the brain when we eat is short lived and usually the individual will feel worse in the aftermath. So how to fix this? What has happened is a neural connection between emotional discomfort and food has been created, almost like an auto pilot response. For many of us, this has been deep rooted in us for years. It can be changed! When we feel sadness, anger, or stress and we choose an alternative coping mechanism, every time we do that we are strengthening that neural connection to associate those behaviors with what we are feeling. We are rewiring our brain to urge us to make different choices. Some of the best coping activities I recommend are meditation, journaling, reading, baths, puzzles, any activity that requires you to be fully present and in the moment of what you are doing. Things you enjoy. This is being mindful.

Mindfulness teaches us to see things as they really are and not just how we think hey should be. It ends resistance which creates inner peace. Inner peace will spill into every area of your life by improving self love, relationships, family, career, and spirituality. When we are mindful we make choices that are in alignment with our best interest. The choices we make are not clouded by deceptions of the mind but rather from clarity and authenticity. We are not our thoughts, we are the observer of our thoughts, and we have the power to choose. We are in control of how we experience everything around us. We are in control of our physical ,intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and social health just by choosing our thoughts! Be good to yourself