Mind and Body Connection
“You must take a total body approach to structuring your life in order to set yourself up for success.”
To be successful in any aspect of life, it’s important to consistently play at the top of your game. There will always be those times when an illness, life event, or harsh disappointment will pull you into a slump, but having a healthy foundation can make the recovery from these slumps quicker and easier.
Being on top of your health game directly effects your social, family and business lives. With psychological illness, anxiety, and stress permeating our society, and increased suicide rates during the holiday season, efforts to maintain or increase the health of our minds and bodies can be the most important gift of the year.
Mental and Physical Turmoil
Your mind and body must be in sync with each in order to endure the obstacles that life throws your way. If either is not on the same track, you will experience mental and physical turmoil. When your mind is drifting out of focus, how can you expect your body to perform optimally? If your body isn’t in good shape, no matter what your brain tells your body to do, your body will perform subpar.
Mental and physical turmoil can sabotage your ability to solve problems. To counter this turmoil, one must approach all problems in life and in business with your mind and body connected and in great working shape. To pull your mind and body together, a healthy body and a clear mind will ensure that you are able to operate at 100 percent of your capacity in life.
The following three sections will explore the important links that work together to create a healthy mind and body connection.
Fueling your Function
One of the primary factors in establishing the proper mind and body connection is to consistently eat a well-balanced diet of nutritionally valuable food. It amazes me how many people I see not only snacking on junk food but overeating and not treating their body like the temple that it is.
Fueling your body for your success is absolutely imperative. The brain not only REQUIRES proper nutrition but it CRAVES it as well. A healthy balanced diet allows the brain to properly function on many levels for sustained periods of time. If you want optimal function in your life, eat like it!
An analogy is the fuel that is required for a race car. Only top grade, high-octane fuel is used in race cars to give the car optimum performance. If mid-grade or low-grade fuel is used, what do you think would happen? The car would not win because it would suffer from sluggish, sub-par performance as compared to its competitors. The same is true for yourself.
If you expect to perform at the top level in your life and business, you must load your body with top-quality, high-octane foods for optimal performance. Don’t sell yourself short in this category. Properly fueling your body is probably the most important part of creating a healthy mind and body connection.
In business and in life, the mind feeds off of the body just as much as the body feeds off the mind.
When you are working hard, have momentum by your side and are making money, you feel good. In fact, you probably feel like you could take over the world. It’s a great feeling and a powerful one at that. When you feel this way, it motivates you to want to not only feel good but look good as well. This mentality gives you the motivation to exercise and eat right to keep your body conditioned to maintain your success.
But even when business is slow and you’re feeling stuck, you can create this momentum with physical fitness.
When you work out, it releases endorphins—your “feel good” hormones. When the endorphins are released, you feel tired but you also feel better and more motivated. This motivation is what is required to work hard during the day and stay focused on your goal. When the mind and body are working in concert together you are able to play and work at your optimum level. Anything to the contrary will produce subpar results.
Visualizing your Outcome
Did you know that most athletes turn to some form of visualization training to take their game to the next level? Athletes like Olympic champion swimmer Amy Van Dyken, ice hockey great Wayne Gretsky, World Boxing champion Muhammad Ali, Olympic snowboarder Shaun White, not to mention the top world golfers and every pitcher in the major baseball leagues have used visualization techniques.
Before every game, former two-time Super Bowl champion John Elway would visually imagine every play and the outcome of each play. He would envision winning the game and how it would feel to win. His mental imagery helped him to see success and winning: his brain was in the correct state of mind before the game to actually win.
Could you imagine what the results would have been if Elway didn’t mentally prepare for the game beforehand? Even though his body may have been in top shape, his game would have suffered because his mind was not in it to win.
Dr. Lynn Hellerstein has been a pioneer in vision therapy for more than 30 years and the author of 50 Tips to Improve Your Sports Performance. According to Hellerstein:
Visualization is the ability to form, imagine, sense, manipulate and expand the pictures in your mind’s eye, thereby developing new perspectives and creativity.
Key ingredients to enhance your visualization technique include knowing how to relax, the correct ways to breathe, and building awareness.
Mind, Body Connection
When our bodies are properly fueled, physically active, and our minds are able to stretch and visualize success, that is when we find our mind, body connection. The mental clarity that stems from our overall health and identifiable goals help our overall well-being and enable us to live our best lives.