What is the mind-body connection?
Your mind and body are powerful allies. How you think can affect how you feel. And how you feel can affect your thinking.
This means that our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can affect our biological functioning, either positively or negatively. In other words, our mind can affect how healthy our body is and how healthy our skin is!
This works the other way around too. What we eat, how much we exercise, how we take care of our skin can impact our mental state positively or negatively. This results in a complex inter-relationship between our mind and body.
People who have a regular skin care routine are more likely to have healthier skin. This is because they believe that their regime is going to give them a clearer skin. This belief translates into reality. Also, the fact that they are physically giving their skin the attention and nourishment that it requires, keeps the skin healthy and clear.
The history of mind-body connection
Until about 300 years ago, virtually every system of medicine throughout the world treated the mind and body as a whole. However, during the 17th century, the Western world started to see the mind and body as two distinct entities.
In the 20th century, this view gradually started to change. Researchers began to study the mind-body connection and scientifically demonstrated complex links between the body and mind. Extensive research has confirmed the benefits of meditation, mindfulness training, yoga, and other mind-body practices, both medically and mentally.
The science behind the mind-body connection
Thoughts and emotions also carry vibrations which impacts your biochemical, cellular, and overall physiological state. At a physical level, the body is made up of atoms and water, which are in a constant state of motion. The type of movement or frequency at which atoms within a cell vibrate creates a form of wave energy which influences their structure and function.
Science demonstrates that thoughts, words, and feelings can change the crystal structure of water and cells, which can change their function. Positive, kind, and inspiring thoughts and emotions vibrate in harmony with your cells since they share the same frequency that allows them to function optimally. In fact, one study has found that the type of vibrations or energy patterns that are carried by certain words and intentions are able to cause physical changes in DNA structure, which affect how the genetic code is translated to make different proteins that become the building blocks of your body.
How your thoughts and feelings control your skin health
Your brain produces substances that can improve your health. This substance includes endorphins, which are natural painkillers, and gamma globulin, which strengthens your immune system.
Research shows that what your brain produces depends on your thoughts, feelings, and expectations. If you have acne or pigmentation, but you have hope and a positive attitude and you believe that you’ll get better, your brain is likely to produce chemicals that will help the skin heal faster.
Negative thoughts and emotions can prevent your brain from producing chemicals that help to heal and in fact produce hormones that create stress and slow the healing process.
If you are able to change your emotions and beliefs about your skin problems and focus on skin healing, you return to a state of calm, both physically and mentally, and your skin problems will begin to heal faster.
Simple Affirmations for a healthy skin
Affirmations are sentences that you can hold in your mind or say aloud. You may even choose to chant them few times a day. The key is to believe what you are saying. This will convert your belief into reality. Affirmations work best when they come from within you. Here are a few affirmations that can be used individually or all together:
- I am a miracle in this universe. I have love and happiness.
- I am thankful for all the good things in my life.
- I am thankful for all the beauty that is within me.
- My body is healthy and my mind is calm.
- My skin is healing every moment of every day.
- I am beautiful.
Manifestation Meditation for a healthy skin
Creative visualization or manifestation meditations encourage you to believe that the things that you wish for already exist in another plane of reality. All you have to do is make that reality your own in the present time and existence.
Here is a simple meditation for healthy skin
Find a calm and cosy place in your home, office or outdoors. Take a comfortable position.
Close your eyes. Breathe deeply and calmly. Feel the relaxation and positivity enter your body as you breathe in. And breathe out all stress and negativity.
Allow your mind to focus on your skin and its problems. Picturize your problem skin in your mind. Acknowledge and accept the problem (acne, scars, pigmentation, or anything that is troubling you). Be okay with it. Don’t let it disturb you. And then let it go. Picture the problem disappearing. Picture your skin clearing up to absolutely healthy skin. Glowing and flawless.
Think of your friends and relatives complementing you. Feel the feeling of pride, satisfaction and joy that your skin is healthy.
Hold these feelings. Live them for as long as you wish.
Feel love for your skin. Feel gratitude that you finally have a healthy skin.
Rub your hands together. Place them on your face. Remove them. Open your eyes.
Believe that your skin is healthier and your skin issues are getting solved.
Inputs by Dr. Niketa Sonavane is an Internationally trained, multi-award-winning Cosmetic Dermatologist. She is the Chief Consultant and owner of Ambrosia Aesthetics, a state of the art cosmetic dermatology and plastic surgery clinic in Mumbai.