< The Mind Body Link | Dr. Deborah Farnsworth, PsyD.

The Mind Body Link

kleeLife can take a toll on your mind and body. Death, divorce, job loss, chronic illness — these situations can bring both tremendous stress and distress into your life.

But even daily stressors — the kind you think you can handle — can eventually overwhelm you, throwing your life out of balance and affecting both your psychological and your physical health.

Your job – Fewer people doing the same amount of work. Late hours, demanding bosses. Disharmony among co-workers.

Your family – Trying to make a marriage work. Making ends meet. Troubled teenagers. Caring for young children and aging parents. Challenges of dual careers.

Your physical health – Headaches. Getting sick from being stressed out. Recovering from a life-threatening illness. Learning how to live with a chronic disease.

Your mind and your body work together.

Psychological studies show that your mind and your body are strongly linked. As your mental health declines, your physical health can worsen. And if your physical health declines, you can feel mentally “down.” A positive outlook can help keep you healthy.

You can improve the quality of your everyday life by building resilience, which will help you adapt to stress and bounce back from life’s most difficult times. Resilience isn’t something you’re born with — it’s something you can learn over time. Resilient people have strong emotional well-being, healthy relationships and an optimistic outlook. Optimism and good relationships have been shown to improve health and longevity.

Pay attention to what your body is telling you about the state of your mind. If you’re getting tension headaches, for example, your body may be telling you that you need help dealing with whatever’s on your mind.

A psychologist can help with everyday life.

A psychologist can help you meet the challenges and stress you face every day by working with you to create strategies that build resilience. Talking to a psychologist can help you deal with difficult thoughts and feelings that can affect your day-to-day functioning.

Psychological well-being and learning resilience go hand-in-hand and provide:

  • The capacity to make realistic plans to deal with stressors in your life and carry them out
  • A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strength and ability to confront life’s challenges
  • Skills in communication and problem solving
  • The capacity to manage strong feelings, negative thinking and unhealthy behaviors that may arise when you’re under stress
  • Ways to avoid illness brought on by stress and anxiety

Published by the American Psychological Association