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Lemon Exercise

It’s an indisputable fact that our mind and body are intricately connected. Ever had a migraine headache trying to meet deadlines at work?  Felt butterflies in your stomach on a first date? Or developed digestive issue after a protracted stressful period such as taking care of a loved one with a chronic health condition? 

Try this lemon exercise to experience the power of the mind-body connection.


Harness The Power Of The Mind-Body Connection

It is an established fact that any change in our mental-emotional state results in a corresponding change in our physiology and vice versa. This is not surprising considering the fact that scientists estimate there are up to 500 million neurons in our intestinal or enteric system alone, the single largest concentration of nerve cells in the human body. These neurons participate in overseeing a wide array of functions from digestion, heart rate to mood regulation. 

A key takeaway from these findings is that we cannot dismiss the impact mental-emotional stress can have on our physiology. It also affirms that a holistic approach is necessary for the maintenance of our total well-being. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind.

  • Self-awareness is key to enhancing your performance. Developing self-awareness of your thoughts, inner dialogue and the reactions they induce in your mind and body is an essential first step to optimal performance. 
  • Learn simple self-regulation techniques to manage stress effectively. The vagus nerve that runs from the brain stem to major organs and most parts of our body plays an important role in activating the parasympathetic or ‘rest, digest, renew’ part of the autonomic nervous system. One way of increasing vagal tone or vagus activity to modulate our stress response is through a specific diaphragmatic breathing technique to attain resonance frequency, an optimal rate of the heart that confers widespread health benefits.

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  • Practice visualization to improve health and wellbeing. A study by León-Pizarro et al. (2007) that studied 66 patients with gynecologic and breast cancer found that individuals who were trained in relaxation and guided imagery experienced a significant reduction in anxiety, depression, and bodily discomfort.

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