What We Think Can Affect How We Feel: The Mind-Body Connection

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)

We hear a lot these days about mind/body connections. Not surprisingly, God’s Word spoke about that long before now. There are various verses in Scripture confirming that our thoughts and emotions affect our bodies.

I have seen this in my own body over the past 15 years. I typically react to difficulties with fear, anxiety, or depression. Literally within minutes of thinking about or feeling negative thoughts and emotions, I will get a migraine or tension headache, have a panic attack, or become extremely fatigued. It takes great effort to fight these responses. It is much easier to give in than to put up a fight and respond differently.

When recently faced with some new concerns, my initial reaction was to wonder how I could endure yet another problem and worries of will it get worse? My body began responding to each negative thought.

I stopped and asked myself if I really wanted to down this road again, knowing what the outcome would be; or would I choose to think on what is right and true? It was very difficult to make the right choice, but praise God I had victory that day. Of course more tests will come and I need to be prepared for them.

Although we associate the heart more with feelings and emotions, our thoughts do trigger emotional responses, which in turn can trigger physical ones.

Scripture says that we are to renew our minds (Romans 12:2), to be made new in the attitude of our minds (Ephesians 4:23), and to think on what is true (Philippians 4:8).

I want to develop an awareness of where my thoughts and emotions are focused at all times, not just in times of crisis. As I am obedient to His commands and control, I will have life and peace (Romans 8:6) even in my pain, and that’s a mind/body connection I want to experience.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as I go through each day, help me to remember and act on the truths of Your Word rather than just reacting to my circumstances. As I do, my body and soul will benefit by Your refreshment and peace. Amen.

About the author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in VA and is blessed to have the support and encouragement of a wonderful husband and three grown daughters. God’s grace and strength have brought her through thyroid cancer and continue to sustain her through ongoing back pain, depression, headaches, multiple sensitivities, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at http://www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com.

You can now read this on your Kindle. Find out more at http://TodaysDevotionOnKindle.com

Does your body respond to negative thoughts and emotions? If so, do you have positive ways of dealing with this?

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7 thoughts on “What We Think Can Affect How We Feel: The Mind-Body Connection

  1. Boy, I can sure relate to this topic! I feel like the canary in the coal mine at times, because I can tell that when I begin to suddenly feel worse it’s usually because something stressful is happening. I’ve had to develop ways to deal with this as I can’t just keep going to my bedroom and shutting the door 🙂 I’ve learned to first ask the Lord for his peace and guidance in the situation, rather than heading for anywhere but where the stress is, and He always comes through. Not to say I’ve totally achieved living stress free when the unexpected happens, but I’m working on it.
    Fiona

  2. Pingback: Negativity is labeling ANYTHING “negative” « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

  3. Fiona,

    Taking it to God first is definitely the way to go. Sometimes that has been my last resort rather than my first, I”m ashamed to admit. But God keeps giving me plenty of opportunities to improve in this area:)

    Blessings to you,
    Bronlynn

  4. Bronlynn – great devotional!

    I can relate – as others have said, too. Truly, I can feel my body tighten when the worries pound. It takes much effort to turn it around and part of what happens to me is that I want the “feeling” of relief of both the physical challenges that are always present and also the “feelings” that the worries bring. One can get lifted off as one rests in God but sometimes it is hard to know that it has been lifted off when the base line physical challenges remain.

    I believe it takes a lot of faith when we are resting in God as it is a surrender rather than a feeling. He is so gracious and does bring peace. It is getting used to what that peace “feels” like and dwelling in it in spite of the other pains that are present either in body or thoughts that want to persist. It often takes a hammer to drive them out! Guess that is why we have the words in the Word to use them to pound out the lies and/or concerns that want to take over.

    Continuing the journey with you and all our others here who understand!
    Love,
    Lynn

  5. Lynn, I liked what you said about getting used to what God’s peace feels like. Sometimes it’s not exactly what I had in mind 🙂 but that’s when my “faith and not feelings” needs to step in. Hopefully it will get easier and more natural, as I’m sure God will keep working on it!

    Love and prayers,
    Bronlynn

  6. Oh, yes Bronlynn! Isn’t that so true?
    I don’t remember what physical peace “feels” like but I have been encouraged by God many times. The whole “feelings” vs. “knowing” may be a constant given in our lives and, like you, I know God will keep helping me work on trusting Him and believing Him, “in spite of ___.” ( We can each fill in our own blanks. )

    The Peace that passes understanding ( and feelings ) is Him.

    Love,
    Lynn

  7. Wow! This site and all you women are such a blessing to me. I had know idea all my thoughts were normal. I have juvinile discogenic disease, migraines, cronick depression from being severely abused as a child, and I was fortunate to find jesus when I was only thirteen. I love him with all of my heart. I am learning through this site that disabilities can bring lots of spiritual blessings. Stay stong in the word. It will see you through.

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