The human nervous system is a sophisticated, if not miraculous system of neural pathways that impacts all aspects of health and wellbeing. The past two decades have been an exciting time to work in mental health and health related fields. Science of the mind research has revealed what many practitioners have intuitively been using for years to help in processes of healing. Functional Imaging MRI & CT scans have provided photos of the brain’s electrical activity when engaged in regular tasks of daily living or a battery of prescribed tests. In order to understand the science behind your physical body, “bio-system terminology” has been created to categorize the body according to the related-functions that each system performs, such as digestive, cardiac, and neurological systems. For example, neurotransmitters technically belong to the neurological system, and hormones belong to the endocrine system. However, a neurotransmitter may act as a hormone in different parts of the body thereby serving two significant yet discrete functions overtime.
It is easiest to understand the complexity of the brain and the ways that it interprets multiple internal and external stimuli at any one time as a complex system of roads and highways that intersect and cross-over throughout your body. Each thought in your brain actually triggers a bio-chemical release that travels throughout your body via the spinal cord and its intricate neural pathways that immediately impacts your “senses”. The exciting aspect of this confirming research is that people do indeed have the capacity to cultivate new or different pathways in the brain that grow healthy and well-response patterns instead of habitually negative thoughts or self-harming behaviours.
You will know the impacts of your thoughts by how you feel. In short, learning to trust and honour your feelings is truly the first step on your journey of healing. So, when you have a thought about a particular person, event, situation, or memory that troubles your mind and body, then it may be time for you to meet with a licensed or registered mental health clinician or professional counsellor. Professionally trained and experienced therapists can help you to identify your habitual thought patterns and what to do to remove or diminish the distortions that cause the ruminative & obsessive features in your thinking.
The human body is naturally designed to protect you. The self-preserving feature of human life, and perhaps to a degree all carbon-matter is an essential component of evolution. Cognitive distortions occur in response to elevated negative sensory experiences in a manner designed to distract you from the real stressors you face in your everyday life. Once you identify the ways that your emotions and/or senses distort your thoughts, you can master evidence-based strategies proven to balance your perspectives and restore your rational problem solving skills to deal with everyday problems.
So, how will you know when “enough is enough”? Your feelings will instruct you. City dwellers are mostly familiar with unusually high level of sensory experiences required to get through a typical work day. Communities within well-designed cities like Toronto have naturally thriving parklands, parkettes, paths, and walks-ways that are easily accessible on foot or bicycle. Building in regular sensory breaks throughout your day is a perfect way to buffer the sensory assaults that many of you navigate on a daily basis. A 20-30 minute walk or bike ride each day offers your body, mind, and spirit a refreshing dose of wellness that heals, restores, and sustains good health over the long term.
Trust when you need a break from the stressors in your life, and enjoy the gifts of nature that surround you.
Do. Think. Feel Well.
Lisa Romano-Dwyer PhD, Owner