Connect Your Head to Your Body

How your head and body connect

Connect your head to your body — it’s figurative but just as critical as keeping them literally connected. Although you may rarely think of it, your physical and mental well-being are linked. Good mental health has a positive effect on your physical health and vice versa. Maintaining positive mental health plays a major part in preventing, reversing, or stabilizing disease.

In the post-pandemic world we are living in, anxiety and stress are affecting more people than ever before. There’s just cause for generalized anxiety considering the chaotic state of the economy, issues with the supply chain, uncertainty over emerging viruses and variants, and the extensive loss that people are suffering.

How stress is affecting your health

Psychosomatic symptoms emerge when the state of a person’s mental well-being affects their physical health. A person can experience symptoms such as headaches, brain fog, insomnia, muscle tension, etc. Ongoing anxiety can cause stomach and digestive disorders, and in extreme cases, may mimic a heart attack.

When we sense danger, even at a subconscious level, our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode. When this happens, they release adrenaline and cortisol stress hormones. The higher the stress and anxiety, the higher the heart rate and blood pressure, which suppresses the digestive system and affects the immune system.

Under normal circumstances, our bodies return to a normal state of rest and levels drop. The issue many face is that they have developed a generalized anxiety during the past two years. This ongoing state of stress means the body never returns to a state of rest and diseases and symptoms develop.

Philippians 4:6 (NLT) says “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.” While this may seem an oversimplified solution, the Bible is always the beginning point. God cares about you and your situation. Although the world events are taking us by surprise, He is not surprised and remains in full control.

5 Steps to connect your head to your body

Beyond praying, there are five practical steps you can take to minimize the effect of the chaos swirling around you and improve your physical and mental well-being.

1. Shut off the news.

Seriously. When’s the last time you saw anything good featured on the news stations? I don’t like to live “under a rock” so I scan headlines online and click only if it seems vital. Even then, I need to be careful. I went “down a rabbit hole” yesterday when a “healthy food shortage” headline caught my eye. I felt my anxiety rising and had to step away from the computer and ‘put my head back on.’ The Bible says in Philippians 4:8 (NIV) “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Think about those things that are positive and uplifting and you will experience an almost immediate shift in your emotional and mental well-being.

2. Limit negative social media.

There’s a lot of slander, gossip, and misinformation on platforms that can unknowingly cause added stress and anxiety. I read an excellent article recently that speaks to the medical evidence of the negative effect on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. You can read it here.

I am the first to say that I love Facebook because I can choose who is on my list of interactions and I delete anyone who perpetually posts things that cause stress, strife, and drama. Many platforms, YouTube included, are filled with bogus videos that generate fear and anxiety in the viewer. Stay clear, choosing instead to focus on building good online relationships.

3. Get enough sleep.

No one does well mentally or physically while in a state of sleep deprivation. Step away from stressors and just give yourself permission to go to sleep. Many ailments are rooted in a habitual lack of sleep. In her guest blog post “Rebounding from a Serious Illness,” my friend Tracy highlighted the necessity of sleep that allows the body to repair itself. Part of being able to sleep well lies in your determination to limit negativity from social media, the news, and the people in your life. If you are using screens, recommendations include using blue light filters and turning screens off an hour before you plan to go to sleep. Drinking a hot cup of herbal tea is helpful, as is staying away from any caffeinated products past mid-afternoon.

4. Eat healthy food.

Most people understand the relationship between a poor diet and physical disease, but not everyone considers the impact on mental health and well-being. Filling your plate with healthy fruits and vegetables instead of empty carbs and sugar will improve both your physical and mental health. Eating a low-carb, gluten-free, and sugar-free diet will enhance your health tremendously. You may wonder what is left to eat once you eliminate your favorite carbs and sugary treats. I empathize with you but have made the successful transition and know that you can too! There are many resources to guide you along the way. Livestrong has an overview, which you can find here. Susan Neal is an award-winning author who offers many resources to help you on your journey. You will find her resources helpful as well.

5. Exercise.

If you want a quick way to boost your mood, get outside and go for a walk or engage in another form of movement. Exercise releases endorphins, which are a natural “feel-good” chemical. Also, being in nature has an automatic calming effect, which drops adrenaline and cortisol levels. The exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous to be effective. Taking a nice leisurely walk around the neighborhood or in a mall for 20 minutes a day will yield improved mental well-being. During the pandemic, I discovered Leslie Sandsone’s “Walk at Home” series on YouTube and buddied up with a friend in Italy who was on a journey to better health, the same as me. I still find those videos helpful in the winter when it is cold and snowy. You may enjoy another form of exercise. The key is to find something you enjoy doing and get moving for 20-30 minutes a day.

As you have read, there is a direct correlation between your physical health and your mental well-being. Improving one will lead to an improvement of both. I’ve given you five key areas to consider on your journey to a healthier you. Give yourself permission to engage in self-care steps, such as those listed above. When you do, you will receive the dual benefit of improving both your physical and mental health.


Author Bio

Mel Tavares is an award-winning author, speaker/teacher, and counselor both in ministry and in her career. She has invested 35 years into counseling women in secular and church settings, focusing primarily on women who need hope and healing. Mel holds a Doctorate of Ministry, works in the Pastoral Care and Counseling Department at her church, is a member of the AACC (American Association of Christian Counselors), AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association); and is the founder of Kingdom Writers, the Connecticut Chapter of the ACW (American Christian Writers).

Besides ghostwriting and authoring her own books, Mel is a contributing author to several books and writes for multiple online Christian communities. She is a member of the Word of Life Youth Ministries writing team and rejoices in the curriculum reaching youth in over 80 countries. She teaches digitally and in person, conducts Facebook Live series, and is a podcast guest as opportunities arise. Mel is a wife, mom to seven, and grandma to ten. You can find her materials and learn about her ministry at her website:


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2 thoughts on “Connect Your Head to Your Body”

  1. The idea of keeping one’s head connected to their body is super important. Bettering one’s mental health by limiting social media, as well as other techniques mentioned here, can go a long way.


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