Changing the Body can Change the Mind

Crocuses blooming in early springAs we journey into the changeable season of spring, where one moment the temperature is 30 and later that day 70, I am reminded of how important it is to stay flexible in the face of a changing environment.

One of my clients recently gave me this great shorthand tool to remember our role in change:  E + R = O.  Environment/Event + Reaction/Response = Outcome.  We can’t always change the E — the environment and events happen, however, what we can change is our reaction or response to them.

Reaction is usually immediate and often comes out of old patterns of reacting to life.  We can begin to change reactions to response, meaning we don’t just react out of our old patterns, we consider new possibilities and make choices from how we want to respond.

Changing old patterns can be difficult.  The patterns feel like “reality”, its “just the way it is”.  However, old patterns are simply habits of mind, body and spirit and with awareness and help can be shifted.  We do this every time we unlearn a bad habit or challenge ourselves to learn a new activity, take on a new task, or meet people we wouldn’t have spoken with before.  We change how we respond and we change our world.

Changing how we feel can feel more daunting than taking on a new task, especially if our feelings are rooted in old pain.  Doing therapy is a great tool: learning to examine our feelings and beliefs to re-imagine new ways of responding to things that cause us pain.  In addition, changing the body can help change the mind.

Here is an article from Tom Myers, a well known bodyworker/teacher, whose work on the fascia/connective tissue of the body has helped open new ways of healing.  He reminds us that:

the link between emotions and bodily health is a very ancient idea, which has been around for a very, very long time. Modern medical science is actually late in recognizing a mind-body connection and the importance it plays for our health and well-being.

Here is a link to the whole article:

I highly recommend the article, and then encourage you to consider how you could change some activity in your life: go for more walks, get down and garden, take up swimming or golf, ride a bike, take yoga or tai chi or pilates. Then begin to see what changes happen in your mind, emotions and spirit. Let the newness of spring invite you into new possibilities for your life.