The first step to a healthy body is a healthy mind. What that means has different facets for each individual but for everyone it shares a common ground: feeling good, relaxed and content.
According to Harvard Medical School Psychiatry Professor Dr. Arthur Barsky: “We feel emotions in our bodies.” The author of ‘Worried Sick: Our Troubled Quest for Wellness’ went on to explain:
“We ‘burn’ with anger, ‘tremble’ with fear, feel ‘choked up’ with sadness; our ‘stomachs turn’ with revulsion. Everyone tends to experience unpleasant emotions as unpleasant bodily symptoms and thus to feel physically distressed when emotionally distressed.”
The first step to a healthy body, really is a healthy mind. And the core way to achieve this is by calming the mind. One tried and tested way to do this that anyone can engage in is breathing. We breathe all the time but how often are we actually aware of this miracle? Once we tune in to our breathing we find that we are so focused on that, the outside “noise” (i.e. anxiety) is quietened. One way to do this is by setting aside “breathing times” in the day during which we totally give over to our breathing process.
First, get in a comfortable position (either lying down or sitting on a comfortable chair). Put one hand on your stomach just below the rips (lying down might make this easier) and the other hand on your chest. Take a breath in through your nose and feel your stomach pushing your hand up (the chest should not be moving). To make it easier you can count from 1-5 (initially you may only get to 3 or 4 and that is okay). Now breathe out with your lips pursed and you should feel the hand on your stomach contract. Use that to push the air out. Repeat this exercise 4 or 5 times a few times a day.
Once you quiet the mind you should feel that your body is following suit. It’s a great first step.