By: April Carson
When pondering consciousness, we typically associate it with the brain, correct? Well, research suggests that consciousness is a much more complex phenomenon than just thinking. It involves the integration of body and mind in order to understand ourselves on an emotional, spiritual and physical level. By being aware of our physical state and how it influences our mental state, we can gain a greater understanding of our consciousness.
It is important to note that this connection between the body and mind isn’t just one-way; both are linked together in a dynamic relationship. For instance, research has shown that exercise releases hormones which have been linked to enhanced cognitive performance. Our physical actions can also be linked to increased clarity in thought processes and improved decision making skills. Understanding how the two sides interact helps us gain insight into our own consciousness.
The mind-body connection has become increasingly recognized as an important factor in understanding consciousness - the scientific, spiritual and philosophical quest that has been undertaken for thousands of years. It is now widely accepted that our physical state influences our mental wellbeing, and vice versa.
At its most basic level, the mind-body connection tells us that our thoughts have an effect on our physical health and behavior. This concept has been studied extensively in psychology, neuroscience, sociology and medicine. For example, research has shown that people who consistently think positively tend to experience greater psychological benefits than those who think negatively. Similarly, studies have demonstrated how individuals can manage their emotions by consciously adjusting their posture or facial expressions to influence the way they feel.
According to neuroscientist Catherine Tallon-Baudry, the brain can't create personal experience by itself. The self relies on the body to exist. Tallon-Baudry compares this to a car, which only exists when its various parts are present and connected. "The car is nothing without its tires, and the brain is nothing without its body," she says.
Researchers now consider interoception to be a vital aspect of consciousness. It is responsible for monitoring internal body signals like heart rate, pain, thirst, and pleasure, which in turn help create our thoughts and emotions. This concept highlights the importance of the mind-body connection in understanding consciousness, even from a scientific point of view.
Tallon-Baudry suggests that our consciousness is influenced by our internal organs, specifically the heart and gut. These organs have their own rhythm that is independent of the brain. This rhythm serves as an anchor for the brain's perception of self. She believes that by listening to our bodies, we can gain more insight into our conscious experience. "It’s not the mind that creates consciousness, it is the body.
The body contains all of our experiences and memories," she says.
Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley, Dacher Keltner, also believes in the importance of the mind-body connection. He suggests that by connecting to our bodies through mindful practices such as yoga or meditation, we can become more attuned to our emotions and gain greater insight into our conscious experience. "When we pay attention to our bodies, it helps us become more aware of our feelings and thoughts," Keltner explains. He also believes that by training the mind to focus on the body, we can become more attuned to our conscious experience.
Ultimately, understanding how our bodies and minds interact is essential to comprehending consciousness. By being aware of our physical states and how they influence our mental wellbeing, we can gain greater insight into ourselves and better understand our thoughts and feelings.
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April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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