“Mind and body harmony” is often a mantra that’s written across home décor and posters in yoga studios, but few have stopped to wonder what the phrase means and whether it’s actually attainable.
Simply put, one reaches mind and body harmony when they prioritize both their physical and mental health. Mind and body harmony is very much attainable—even more so than you may think! Take a look at why mind and body harmony is so important and how you can achieve it.
Reasons to prioritize mind and body harmony
It has become increasingly clear over the years that the mind and body are intimately entwined. Individuals must nurture both in order to achieve full-body wellness. Here are some reasons why you should pay equal attention to the health of your mind and body:
- Health is a two-sided coin: The mind and body rely on each other to stay healthy. Diseases that affect the body can trigger mental health problems and vice versa. The brain-gut axis is a prime example of this concept. When you suffer from chronic tummy troubles, your mood suffers, too. On the flip side, people who are constantly stressed out might binge on sugary treats, leading to weight gain and the risk of chronic disease.
- Harmony lets you function properly: Adequate physical and mental health is necessary in order to feel your best. Just because you don’t have an injury or life-threatening illness doesn’t always mean you’re in top shape! Neglecting your mental health can make it difficult to focus at work or enjoy time with loved ones. Mind and body harmony provides all the tools you need to tackle what lies ahead.
- You’re as strong as the weakest link: If one facet of your health is suffering, the others will follow suit. You won’t attain overall wellbeing until both the mind and body are accounted for. Physical health means little when your mental health is down in the dumps! The synergistic effect of full-body wellness is much more powerful than physical or mental health alone.
How to achieve mind and body harmony
Reaching mind and body harmony may sound like a daunting task. The truth is, achieving overall wellness is actually quite simple! Healthy habits sprinkled throughout your day can add up over time to boost your physical and mental health. Here are a few easy activities to try:
- Drink water when you get out of bed: Hydration starts your day on the right foot, both physically and mentally. A properly hydrated body increases focus, productivity and energy at work. Unlike coffee, a glass of water in the morning can make you feel more alert without the caffeine crash! Pour yourself a refreshing glass of water, then toss in a sprig of mint and lemon wedges for extra flavor.
- Go for a walk in nature: Exploring the great outdoors is one of the best mind-body experiences. A brisk 15-minute walk is an easy activity you can do just about anywhere. The physical benefits of walking include greater oxygen flow to the brain, increased blood circulation and cardiovascular fitness, to name a few. Nature also has a calming effect and gives you the space to reflect on your thoughts. For these reasons, spending time outside is an incredibly powerful stress reliever.
- Learn a new recipe: Switch up your meal routine by learning how to cook all your favorite foods. Home-cooked meals are much better for the body than fast food or frozen TV dinners. Discover new ways to build fruits and vegetables into your diet to ensure you’re getting a day’s worth of essential nutrients. Cooking is also a great way to bond with loved ones, and tasting the finished product can reward you with a sense of accomplishment.
- Reserve a few minutes for meditation: You can meditate anywhere, anytime you want. Whether you’re taking a shower or sitting in traffic, take some deep breaths and be present in the moment. Meditation centers your mind, calms anxious thoughts, relieves stress and puts you in a better mood. But meditation has physical benefits, as well! This simple practice improves sleep quality and lowers blood pressure, the latter of which is nearly instantaneous. You’ll feel better right away!
Remember that mind and body harmony is a journey, not a destination. There might come a day when you’re bogged down with a cold or completely frazzled from work. Don’t let a small bump in the road dampen your spirits! Life is full of challenges—what matters is how you get back up. Mind and body harmony comes and goes, but you will always find it again.