Fostering a healthy mind-body connection

Fostering a healthy mind-body connection

The connection between mind and body

Our emotions and physical health are strongly linked. Many of us recognise that when we are feeling stressed or overworked, we are more likely to become physically unwell. Equally, when we are struggling with a physical health problem such as flu or a broken bone that interferes with the way we want to live, this can have an impact on our mental health. It is now accepted within research into long term health conditions that stress can help or hinder the immune system response (Littrell, 2008). It is therefore important to look after both our physical and emotional health in order to support overall wellness.

Two hormones are also important the mind-body connection: cortisol and serotonin. Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone; it is released whenever we sense danger in our environment or in our minds. It prompts and prepares the body to respond to the stressor. Serotonin is involved in a large range of bodily functions from healing wounds to influencing bowel function. It is also important in regulating anxiety, happiness and mood. Serotonin therefore highlights how well linked our mind and body are.


Caring for your mental and physical wellbeing

Taking care of yourself requires both physical and emotional self-care. To ensure a holistic approach to self-care, try the following techniques:

  • Listen to your body: when you begin to notice minor physical health concerns such as coughs and colds, stop and assess both your mental and physical health. Assess your work-life balance and current stressors and consider if reducing your workload or tasks would be beneficial
  • Ensure you maintain basic self-care: at times of stress or physical illness it can be easy to forget the basics, however, at these times basic self-care is even more important. Ensure that you keep a regular sleep routine and sleep as much as your body needs, eat well and exercise regularly
  • Practice mindfulness: being mindful is important for both physical and emotional wellbeing. Mindfulness is about being in tune with your present environment, both internal and external. This can help you to understand your true feelings as well as notice any physical ailments or tensions
  • Be kind to yourself: we often speak to ourselves in a way that we would never speak to our loved ones. When you are feeling unwell, either physically or mentally, take care of yourself by being kind. Rest, do things you enjoy and seek the support of loved ones. By doing so you will notice an improvement in both your physical and mental wellbeing


If you would like to discuss the connection between mind and body or talk to someone about therapy at Morency then please get in touch with Dr Julie Hannan on 07530854530.



Littrell, J. (2008). The mind-body connection: not just a theory anymore. Social Work in Health Care, 46(4), 17-37.