Success Through Mind-Body Connection
The mind and body are intricately intertwined. This seems obvious, right? Our mind and our body are connected and both function within the same vessel so, of course, they are intertwined. However, despite being connected, our mind and body are not always on the same page. We often override the sensations in our bodies, which are the messages being sent to our brain all the time. Our mind, which consists of our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, pictures, and feelings will often ignore or disregard those messages altogether.
According to Dr. James Gordon, founder of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, “the brain and peripheral nervous system, the endocrine and immune systems, and indeed all the organs of our body and all the emotional responses we have, share a common chemical language and are constantly communicating with one another.” All of our thoughts and feelings impact our bodies. All of our body responses impact our minds. The connection is undeniable yet still a mystery.
The use of the mind-body connection is used throughout sports and business. Athletes use positive thinking and visualize their successes in their sports. Basketball players visualize shooting free throws and making them successfully. And they improve! In fact, they improve more than those players who simply practice free throws! Entrepreneurs envision their success and visualize themselves achieving the goals they want to achieve.
So, how is it, with all this knowledge and connection, that we spend so much of our time scared of those “what ifs?” You know, those “what ifs” that sneak in our mind and imagine all of the possible scenarios, but somehow seem to leave out all of the possible GOOD scenarios! We know that visualizing our achievements is beneficial. We know that positivity and calm help our body function better. We know most of the “what ifs” never even happen! Think about all the time, stress, and chemicals we send to our body just worrying about things that never happen.
So, how do we use the mind-body connection to our benefit?
Use the Mind-Brain Connection for Success
First, you have to define what success means to you. Is success a monetary value? Is success a certain degree or job? Or does being successful mean, you raised great kids, found great love, or finally took the steps to take care of your needs? Whatever it means to you, write that down! Write it where you can see it.
The next step is a bit tougher, but it is important. Visualize yourself achieving those goals. Use your written definition of success to remind you to visualize your dreams.
For example, if your definition of success is to land your dream job. You may visualize getting the interview, being told you got the job, driving to work, working the job, and being successful on the job. Your visualizations should be realistic and you will need to actually feel yourself in those moments emotionally. What does it feel like to be told you got that job or when the boss says you did well? Just like with the athletes, the player must visualize being in the game and feeling the crowd, not just watching a video in their mind. This part is important because our brain will have the same body responses as if you were actually in that situation.
Sound a little weird?
Are you starting to think I’m losing it?
Ok, try this.
Visualize in your mind that you are walking to the fridge. Open the fridge and pull out a green olive, a pickle, or a lemon (whichever sounds the tastiest to you!). Visualize taking a bite and feel that bite in your mouth. Ok, now, notice your body. Do you have more saliva in your mouth? I bet you do! Your brain uses the visualized information to send signals to your body indicating that the events are actually happening Your body can help bridge the connection between dreams and successfully achieving those dreams through the mind-body connection.
The final step is managing those “what ifs.” I know I am a bit of an optimist and it may seem like a complete lack of planning or preparing to not allow for ANY “what ifs.” Ok, I will give you that one! So, how do we manage the “what ifs,” especially if they are the ones that are more likely to happen? You visualize what you would want to happen with those “what ifs” do occur. You visualize your response and how the situations work out for you. You allow your body to feel the emotions of worry, disappointment, frustration, etc. and then you continue the visualization in the direction of your dreams.
The mind-body connection is powerful. It impacts our thoughts, emotions, and bodies and can transform the way we live in our world. And we have the power to use this connection to fuel and stimulate our successes. The mind-body connection can help our body to heal, perform, and be successful.