5 ways to improve your body-mind connection

  1. Take active breaks from work or vexing problems to give your brain a chance to regroup and reboot. Physically walking away from the problem for a few minutes may help you solve it.
  2. Your body’s posture and expressions are not just reflections of your mind — they can influence your mood. Stand tall to help give yourself confidence and to send a signal to those around you that you have brought your “A” game to the table. And be mindful of your facial expressions. Your brain uses your expressions as cues to feel emotions. Smiling can actually make you feel happier.
  3. Practice in the real conditions under which you will have to perform — whether it’s public speaking, a test or an important match. It’s also good to practice in front of others so when all eyes are on you, it’s nothing new.
  4. Write it out. Journaling can help you deal with the stress of a test or your worries in daily life. Physically downloading worries from your mind (by putting pen to paper) has positive performance outcomes and reducing that stress affects your health in good ways, too.
  5. Spend time in nature as often as you can, and find time to meditate. New science shows that a walk in the woods rejuvenates our minds and improves our ability to pay attention and focus. Meditation for even a few minutes a day can help alleviate anxiety and chronic pain. It also can help with self-control that may be helpful for working to break bad habits, like smoking.
Source: University of Chicago. “Mind-body connection not a one-way street.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2015.

Little things we do can have a big effect…if we can understand the science behind how the body affects the brain, we will be in a great position to ensure that we’re always putting our best foot forward when it matters the most.

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