“A successful therapy requires harmony of the physical and psychological functions in order to achieve a restoration of the body in its entirety.” — Dr. Max Gerson

Mind-Body Connection:

A Negative Feedback Loop of Mental Stress Leading to Physical Stress and Vice Versa

The mind and body are intricately interconnected because of our amazing nervous system.

Our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning.

The state of our physical body also affects our mental state.

Negative Input and Feedback Cycle.

At times we get ourselves into a cycle of negative input and feedback. This is often completely subconscious, and may continue on for years with compounding effects if not recognized. See the graph below for an example. 

Example of a negative feedback loop

YOU Can Break the Cycle!

Use the 5 Tools below to break the cycle and see the difference!

1. Introspection

Intentionally mindful moments

Check-in with yourself regularly.
Take a “scan” of your body and mental state. Is anything standing out?

  • How are you feeling?
  • Where could this be stemming from?
  • What would make me feel better?

2. Movement

Moving is so important to overall health

Benefits of moving:

  • Healthier joints, muscles, connective tissue
  • Organ function
  • Body awareness
  • Endorphin release
  • Better sleep
  • so much more!

Get Started
If you need help or don’t know where to start, create time to see a health professional: massage therapist, physical therapist, personal trainer, yoga or Pilates instructor, or Alexander Teacher. They can help you get started.

3. Nutrition

What you consume not only impacts your body, but also your mind. 

This does not mean to go on a diet, but rather be more mindful of how food makes you feel, both physically and psychologically. 

Check in with your body after meals and notice any specific feelings or reactions.

  • Do I feel more energized?
  • Relaxed?
  • Sad?
  • Tired?
  • Do I have an upset stomach?
  • Aches and pains?

Try food journaling to reveal any patterns.

Prolonged consequences of negative physical impact from foods can lead to psychological distress.

4. Healthy Boundaries

Respect your time and energy

  • Learn to say “no”
  • Know your limits
  • Communicate your needs
  • Give yourself permission and grace

5. Positivity  

Turning your mind to positive thoughts can break that cycle of negative input 

Breaking the negative input cycle will create positive output and health benefits.

Practicing self-compassion can have a profound effect on your mind and body. Humans tend to be their own worst critics and develop an inner monologue of harsh thoughts and emotions toward yourself.

Use that introspection tool and take note of any negative thinking habits and start to change the narrative within! 

Jami Kohlmann, LMT, CLT, CPT, CES, CAFS is the Massage Services Coordinator & Personal Trainer at Mettler Center. 

Call 217-356-6543 to schedule a 60-minute massage or a free 30-minute personal training consultation.