It’s not just about how we nurture and are compassionate to our minds that’s important in this approach. We need to be compassionate and nurturing to our bodies. ,too, treating them with respect and kindness. The compassionate-mind appeoach is concerned with understanding the interactions between mind and body.
We are embodied beings and what goes on in our bodies can affect our minds in a two-way-manner – that’s why we’ve been talking a lot about using imagery and other practices to deliberately stimulate both your brain and your body.
There is increasing evidence that poor diets are not only bad for our physical health , but can be bad for our emotional health too. The reason for this is that they impact on the immune system and cardiovascular systems, both of which affect brain system. So looking after your body with a good diet is of immense importance-particularly because some people are vulnerable to diet -induced mood change.
Reducing caffein can help some people as can reducing alcohol. As previously mentioned , taking regular exercise is know to be very good for depression too. When we get depressed our metalbolism starts to slow down and we do less , and then we feel more tired and so do even less .
So exercise that gets us moving a bit can be good. It can also help with sleep. Soe, while slowing the breath can be helpful when you are very keyed up, if we are sluggish we may need invigorating exercise that gets our system moving. (We should just say here that if you haven’t done exrecise for a while, or if you are worried about your fitness , it might be sensible to check with your GP before starting an exercise programme. Some GP’s have access to exrecise scheme . where someone can advise you what is best for you. )
The key here is to experiment to get an idea of what works for you. For example , some people find that yoga can be extremely helpful for both their minds , but others don’t relate to it at all. The point is that compassion – focused therapies do not ignore the body, but recognise how important physical welbeing is to our mental welbeing.
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