The Mind/ Body Connection + Mindfulness Bingo
Health is in the mind as well as the body. In fact, they are inextricably linked. Let's dig into why-
The vagus nerve
"The vagus nerve carries an extensive range of signals from digestive system and organs to the brain and vice versa. It is the tenth cranial nerve..."
There it is. Research has shown that our vagus nerve connects our brain to our body- so why is it that traditional western medicine treats the brain and the body as separates?
The vagus nerve is cited as interfacing with the parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. This is why when we are stressed our blood pressure rises, we shallow breathe and our digestion shuts down for fight or flight.
This gut/brain axis connects our central nervous system to our enteric nervous system and guess what? It is bi-directional.
What does that mean?
It means our stomachs, or what is beginning to be known as our "second brain", can send messages up to the brain via this connection too. This bi-directional communication means that often our physical symptoms are a side effect from our mental state, and visa versa!
Brain to Body: Stress causing bloating/ constipation
Body to Brain: Highly processed diet causing fatigue/ lack of motivation
A lot of us can be detached from this connection, so practicing mindfulness to slow down and recognise these signs and signals is a great place to start.
It is also a truly wonderful practice that can bring so much health and happiness to your life and those around you when done regularly.
The stress of work, of Covid, of relationships, can mean that we are in a constant state of fight or flight, so give your mind and body a rest to return to that rest and digest mode by inserting little mindfulness snippets throughout your day.
Mindfulness can come in many forms, and there is certainly no one size fits all.
If you're new to mindfulness, or just want to practice more, I find the best way is to make it FUN :) So I made a mindfulness bingo for you!
Download your free copy of my Mindfulness Bingo to play over the weekend. Get your housemates, kids and partners involved to see if you can reach Bingo!