It has been a longstanding debate as to whether the mind and the body are separate or the same thing. Philosophers such as René Descartes spent the majority of their careers debating the mind and the body. In Descartes’ case, he concluded that the mind and the body are indeed different. He coined this concept “mind-body dualism.”
His argument, along with the argument of many, is that the mind is responsible for thinking and that the body is responsible for doing. But how would you explain the fact that the power of our brain is responsible for making our bodies move, and also that the body’s sensations trigger something in the mind?
And that’s where the real difference between mind and body requires some deeper exploration.
The Difference Between Mind and Body
Let’s start with the one that looks to have many more moving parts and may seem more complicated, but rather is the more simple part of our existence.
The body is the physical part of our being, and includes our brain, which is responsible for our biological functioning. Your arms and legs move due to signals in the brain that are sent out to your body to trigger your arms and legs to do their job.
For the body to work correctly, it needs to be connected to the mind. So, although the two are different, they must work together.
The mind is the part of a human being that is responsible for thoughts, processes, and consciousness. And we are defined as having both a mind and a brain (which is considered by many to be part of our physical body). Though the mind and the brain exist in the same space of our bodies, they are different.
The mind is energy – and this is a scientific fact. Thoughts exist and they create energy in the form of photons, which, as discovered by Albert Einstein, are the fundamental particles of light.
Let’s look at an example to better explain. Think about when you hang out with a friend who is happy and excited. Their energy affects your energy and will likely cause you to feel happy and excited, too. They are creating energy that affects your energy.
And, all the energy that our mind creates with our thoughts and our feelings makes up who we are as people. However, that energy can be affected by things and changed at any point in time and that’s due to the neuroplasticity of our brains.
Technically speaking, the brain is always changing due to the different experiences, thoughts, and memories you have every second of your life. Your brain (body) is simply a response to what is happening in the mind.
So, the mind is where all of the power lies. Which, when you know that the mind can change, grow, and rewire, is actually incredible. It means that you have the ability to choose for your brain to be different than it currently is.
For example, say you suffer from anxiety. By learning how to manage your mind (oftentimes with help from the body), you can figure out how to change those anxious feelings and thus, thoughts actions.
How to manage your mind
There are a number of different tools that you can use to help manage your mind when it wanders off into anxious thoughts, sad thoughts, or stressful thoughts.
One of the best and quickest ways to manage your mind is to sit and take some breaths. Studies show that slow, deep breathing improves emotional and psychophysiological well-being.
And it doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply sit somewhere quiet and focus most of your attention on your out-breath. When you breathe out, draw it out for as long as possible and keep it steady. While paying attention to your breath, also pay attention to your body. Find where you feel the anxiety, anger, sadness, stress – whatever you may be feeling. With each out-breath, breathe out the mental tension that is trapped in your physical body.
Oftentimes anxiety is simply stored up energy in the body that has nowhere else to go. And, by exercising, you release some of that anxiety. So, when you feel yourself starting to get stressed or anxious, it’s time to get your body moving.
Studies show that exercise is a reliable solution to turn to in times of anxiety because it not only offers physical benefits but also mental benefits. Thus, the mind-body connection will be strengthened with some movement.
Different supplements have been shown to support mental health in a natural way and a way that is easy to make a part of your daily routine.
This amino acid is key to relaxation. Studies show that L-theanine promotes the brain’s production of an alpha-wave pattern that puts the mind in the same wave frequency as meditation.
This adaptogenic herb has been well-studied and the results show that it plays a major role in helping the body with its stress response while also helping support brain function and physical performance while exercising.
Magnesium deficiency is a highly common thing, and can lead to issues with mental health. A lack of magnesium has the potential to cause feelings of depression and stress. That’s because magnesium can block the brain’s hippocampus from activating ACTH, the hormone that communicates to the body to release cortisol and adrenaline.
The mind and body are considered by many to be two different things. The mind is responsible for thinking, and the body is responsible for doing. However, both our conscious and unconscious minds can affect our biological functioning. So, in order to have optimal brain and body health, the mind and body must work together.