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Have you ever heard of the connection of mind body spirit?
If you have, it has probably been in the context of yoga, a personal wellness plan, or organized religion. The challenge for many who have heard of it is that it is a vague reference to many nebulous concepts, such as consciousness, Higher Self, the mind, spirit, and the Universe
This article defines the mind-body-spirit connection, articulates how it is part of a “whole person” optimal health approach and includes suggestions for how to tap into it to improve “holistic health wealth.”
What is the mind-body-spirit connection
At its core, the mind-body-spirit connection is a belief system and actions encompassing holistic well-being or what we at Well and Wealthy refer to as “holistic health wealth.”
Essentially, the connection among mind body, and spirit means that our overall well-being originates from our mental health (mind), physical health (body), and spiritual health (spirit). It includes an integrative approach to execute a healthy lifestyle and mind and spiritual wellness pursuits as part of daily life.
You are probably most familiar with the mind-body connection. For example, anxious feelings and emotions manifest reactions within your physical body, such as elevated heart rate, increased perspiration, sleep troubles, and fatigue. Prolonged periods of these physical symptoms can result in worsening health issues within the body, such as disease.
When physical symptoms are showing up as the result of a depleted mental state, the mind-body-spirit connection is out of whack. Attempts to connect to the spirit through prayer and meditation, can feel unattainable because the mind and body can feel out of control.
Benefits from the mind-body-spirit connection are most experienced and felt when the mind is at peace and the physical body is in a state of relaxation. A deep sense of feelings of happiness, kindness and gratitude often occur. When life throws a curve-ball, it can be taken in stride.
What is spirit exactly?
A lot of times, the words “spirit, “soul,” and “consciousness” are used interchangeably. Also in the use of these terms, many believe that there is a greater universal intelligence at work that impacts our human spirit.
There are many terms used to describe this “universal intelligence.” Some called it God. Some call it the Higher Self. Other references include “Divine Force,” “Universal Truth,” “Higher Power,” “Creative Intelligence,” “Infinite Intelligence,” among others.
Using any of these terms most often refers to the same thing–that there is a universal force at work within human consciousness that is larger than humans and all living things combined. This universal force is the reason why the water flows as it does, why the Earth turns on its axis every 24 hours, how the Earth completes a rotation around the sun every 365 days and how the sun and moon rise and fall every 24 hours.
Now, let’s move on to define “spirit, “soul,” and “consciousness” more concretely.
Central to spirit is the belief that a universal Divine Force is at play across all of Creation, including the Earth, planets, and galaxies. Spirit influences the mind to create a sense of self.
The “self” is a collection of the elements of identity that we perceive. These elements include the ego, memories, and all of the labels and preferences that we apply to ourselves in addition to our personality traits. All of these come from our genetics, environmental influences, and life experiences. Examples of the labels include our name and country of birth. Preferences include what we like and don’t like.
The spirit-self connection
The sense of self is the manifestation of the mind and spirit. Through the mind, our sense of self is created through spirit, which is connected to the Creative Intelligence present within all of Creation.
Most perceive that the self, also known as the ego, is separate from the spirit. The perception that the self is limited to a collection of personal thoughts and inter generational memories and conditioning that belong to “you” as a unique individual is incomplete. Also at work within the self is an intangible intelligence that cannot be seen, touched or physically manifested, but is a unique force or consciousness that is experiencing thoughts.
This intelligence, also referred to as “essence,” is both separate from the thoughts and part of them all at the same time. It is separate because the “essence” intelligently knows that it is more than the mind and self. At the same time, it is connected to them because it is part of the perception and experience. There is a duality–a “both-and” dynamic–among the self, which results from both the spirit and mind.
The mind-spirit connection
The connection between the mind and spirit involves the brain and consciousness. The brain is a powerful organ within humans and is the foundation for our mind and consciousness.
The conscious mind is the part of the brain most are familiar with. It is the part of the brain that we use for logic, thinking, analyzing, and learning. We also use this part of our brain for short term memory. The conscious mind only comprises of about 5-10% of the brain’s power as an organ.
The subconscious brain contains multiple parts. It makes up over 90% of our brain and runs 95% of mental functions. Because of this, the subconscious mind is way more powerful than the conscious part. They include both the pre-conscious and the non conscious parts:
- The pre-conscious mind is the part of the subconscious part of our brain, which contains the memories, experiences, and perceptions that we have the potential to be conscious of. It is the part of the brain that we use to recall specific pieces of information, seemingly arbitrary, from our childhood.
- The non conscious part of the brain controls all of the automatic body processes and instincts. It is the part of the brain that sends messages to our organs telling our bodies to breathe as soon as we are born. It just happens. Another example of this is when our ancestors instinctively knew to use their “threat detection” system that controlled the flight-fight-freeze response when threats to survival were encountered.
This part of the mind also entails learned behaviors, habits and belief systems. It is where generational memories live, such as past trauma that lives in the body, and is passed down from generation to generation.
The super-conscious mind is the part that is most controversial because some argue its existence while others don’t. The super-conscious mind is most often explained as our own inner knowing, internal intuition, and/or creativity. It is aligned with Creation, the universe, its Collective Intelligence, and the sense that all living things are connected.
There is still much to learn about the brain and super-consciousness, in addition to the various levels of consciousness. But, there is plenty of evidence to indicate that the non conscious, subconscious and conscious mind influence our perceptions of the world. The law of attraction and the book Think and Grow RIch, which was originally written in the 1900s, illuminate on the power of our consciousness and all of its levels.
The mind-body connection
To understand the connection to mind, body and spirit, the distinction between the mind and the body must be better understood.
The physical body is a series of intelligent systems comprising of an organism that is controlled by the brain. While the the brain directs most of the activity in the body, it cannot function by itself without the heart, lungs and other organs.
At birth, humans are born with new brains but not new minds. Our minds because of the differing levels of consciousness are comprised of information and varying forms of conditioning that humans have learned through our own individual lives and generations. The output through evolution shows up through the brain and remains within a layer of consciousness, usually the unconscious one.
The mind-body-spirit connection explained and how to care for it
A deep understanding of the mind-body-spirit connection requires healthy components, meaning a healthy mind, a healthy body and a healthy spirit. Strengthening the connection among the mind, body, and spirit takes effort, so here is how these three factors work together to benefit your overall health wealth:
- A healthy mind, also referred to as “mental health wealth,” is engaged in deep thinking and problem solving to stay strong. A retiree can achieve and maintain mental sharpness through crossword puzzles just like an individual working full time troubleshooting customer service issues or studying full time academically can retain a healthy mind. A healthy mental state is also largely free of overthinking from stressful and worrisome thoughts. Positive thoughts are in the mix and a desire for acquiring knowledge just for the sake of doing so are characteristics of mental health wealth. Regular rest of 7-8 hours of sleep and dreaming and goal-setting are also qualities of a healthy mind.
- A healthy body also has many parts. Firstly, it is largely pain-free and unrestrained from disease and illness. An eating regimen with nutritious foods is an indicator of a healthy physical body. Physical health wealth also includes a commitment to movement and regular exercise to get the heart rate elevated to ensure heart health and regular visits to medical doctors to proactively detect any issues of potential diseases before they can worsen.
- A healthy spirit involves doing spiritual acts that center on connection with your Higher Self, the universe, and other living things. A universal love and a love of self equal to a love for others are usually at the core of habits of the spirit. Spiritual acts can be done individually through prayer and medication and as part of a group, such as the study of sacred texts, for example.
The mind-body connection can reveal itself through both healing and disease. It is well-known that prolonged anxiety can have negative consequences on your physical health. The dis-ease of the mind results in the disease within the body.
It is the same for healing. Physical symptoms of stress can often go away or are reduced when mental issues are addressed through actions taken to invest in healing.
To care for your mind, body and spirit, the formula is pretty simple. For a healthy:
- Mind, meditate. learn regularly, and engage in a hobby.
- Body, do yoga, get rest, and eat healthy
- Spirit: practice gratitude, give self compassion and serve others
Whatever the name you give Infinite Intelligence, Mother Nature or God, the one theme running through our experience is Love. Tapping into the mind-body-spirit connection enables the access to the Higher Source of Love via the super-conscious level of the mind.
Seeing through the lens of Love allows you to both experience and observe life as it happens, detach the self, the ego, from the expectation of a certain outcome and be grateful for the situation as part of life’s journey.
At the same time, there are multi-layered mind-body-spirit connections showing up as Love for yourself, for all of mankind, and for all living things. In addition, also present is a wonder at the magic of how the Creative Intelligence is at work in the world, and the overwhelming gratitude felt that each of us gets to be present for a blip in time to observe the universe at work and the beauty that results from it.
Whatever you believe in of if you do so at all, we are all connected to something greater, one Truth. It is called Love, and it is powerful! Love of self, love of neighbor, love of Creation experienced through all or one level of consciousness and through mind, body and spirit are life gifts available to you. It is your choice how much or little you take advantage of it.