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Peaceful personI’ve been doing a lot of thinking about health and wellness and its relationship to moving past troubles–both emotional and physical. I’ve been thinking about ideas such as whether meaning, purpose, and belonging make a difference in helping people live the life they want; I’ve been thinking about the relationship between mental health and physical wellness or mind-body medicine; have been pondering the relationship between food, mood, and the body; and the relationship between hormones and mood. Maybe I’ve been thinking too much eh?!!

Meaning, purpose, and belonging

I was reading an article lately about a self-made millionaire who has focused his attention on emotional richness and his quest to virally spread karma points by encouraging people to do caring things for others. By sharing them, the hope is that others will follow suit and the world will become a better place. He reportedly felt that meaning, purpose, community and love were the true riches in life we should be seeking.

What do you think? What gives you a sense of meaning? Of purpose? Does thinking about whether something means anything to you make a difference in whether you invest your energy in it? Does that something have to have some purpose–to you, to others, or to the greater good–or is it enough to find it makes sense to you?

What about belonging? Is it important to you to feel as if you belong to a person or a group of people? Does having a sense of community make a difference in your life? Does creating connections based on proximity, shared interests or beliefs impact your sense of meaning or purpose? How do these things influence the way you live your life? Do they influence whether or not you live the life you want to live?

Mind-body medicine

Mind-body medicine is becoming more and more popular as it looks at the relationship between mental and physical well-being. Dr. James Gordon, the creator of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in the U.S. is an advocate of mindfulness, meditation, and living in the moment. He and others believe these are vital to living well in mind and body. And you? Do you believe in the connection between mental and physical health? What does or doesn’t make sense to you about it? Have there been any benefits to considering the relationship between your mind and body? Has it helped you to do anything differently?

Food and the mind-body connection

There is a growing number of research projects and books on the link between food and wellness. At first thought you may think, that’s not a new idea!! We know eating junk food can lead to all sorts of health risks! There’s seems to be growing information, however, about how diet can impact mood which can in turn impact your body. There’s lots of information about their relationship and the importance of eating whole, unrefined food. Look on the Chapters-Indigo or Amazon sites and you’ll find book titles such as, Potatoes not Prozac, Eat Your Way to Happiness, and the Food-Mood-Body Connection.

What do you think about this? Do you see any connection between the food you eat and how you feel emotionally and physically? If so, what difference has this made in your life? Have you made any changes that have helped you feel good in mind and body?

Mood and Hormones

What about the relationship between hormones, adrenals, thyroid, and mood? For some years now, the idea that stress can wreac havoc on our bodies and can be a factor in disease has been gnerally accepted. However, there’s growing literature on the relationship between hormones and depression or anxiety. The idea is that hormones affect the way we act and think. As I think about adolescence, the idea doesn’t seem revolutionary. Nor does it when I consider unhelpful notions of what women can be like as they go through the change. As you’ve gotten older, have you noticed your moods changing for no obvious reason–other than where your body’s at in life? Do you think hormones influence or have influenced how you feel and act?

About the author:

Renée Meggs is a Registered Psychologist who works with adults and children to help them do what works, both in counselling and coaching. If you’d like to book an appointment or inquire about my services, please e-mail me at reneemeggs@focusedsolutionscounselling.com and/or go to my website at http://reneemeggs.com. I can meet with you in person, on the phone, or on-line.

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