When it comes to explaining children the importance of physical well-being and mental health, there is always a thin line that stands between these concepts. Very rarely do conversations about these topics emphasise the connection between the physical and the mental. However, this potential link between the brain and the body is something kids need to be aware of in order to achieve balance in their lives. Here is all you need to know about mind-body connection, and how you can explain it to your child.
What exactly is mind-body connection?
According to the theorists of mind-body connection, our bodily functions are closely associated with how we think and feel. The is also true—our physical health has a deep influence on our thought processes and emotions. For example, if your child has a deadline for an important science assignment, the stress she feels may cause her muscles to tighten up involuntarily and trigger a pain sensation. On the other hand, if she is anticipating her birthday party, the excitement and joy she feels will translate into more energy and coordination in her body.
How does the mind-body connection function?
A complex web of neural pathways is responsible for sending signals from the brain to the rest of the body. These signals are fuelled by the chemicals produced by the brain. For example, endorphins produced in the brain give rise to feelings of pleasure and relaxation throughout the body. Chemicals produced due to worry and fear lead to rapid heartbeat, breathing difficulties, adrenaline, etc. Helping your child stay connected to the self (both body and mind) will lead him towards more physical and mental benefits as he grows up. These include better heart health, consistency in sleep, quicker recovery from injuries and illness, lower blood pressure, etc.
How can help your kids practise mind-body awareness?
Emphasise to your kid that taking care of the mind is equally important as taking care of the body. Once the general principle of the mind-body connection is understood, it will be easier for your child to take conscious actions to instil harmony among the two. Encourage her to practise mindfulness through activities like yoga, meditation and hobbies like painting, journaling, etc. Above all, remind your about the importance of a positive outlook and make it a point to include adequate amount of physical activity in her schedule.