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  • The Body and Mind Connection You Need to Understand

    For centuries now, the leading theory in psychology and neuroscience has been that the body and the mind are largely disconnected. It’s called the dualist viewpoint but recent studies show it may be unraveling.

    Researchers at the University of Cologne in Germany are studying how our perceptions about mind and body connection impact health and health-related behaviors. Their results are surprising.

    The study worked like this:

    Researchers presented participants with a scientific text that either promoted the dualist viewpoint (mind and body are separate) or a holistic viewpoint (body and mind are connected). Afterwards, participants filled out a questionnaire about the common health-related behaviors they engaged in. The results found those who read the holistic viewpoint reported more health-behavior engagement. Those who read the dualist viewpoint reported less.

    Self-report data isn’t the most reliable because of the simple fact that we care what others think about us. Most self-report surveys tend to inflate our positive traits and downplay our negatives. Researchers accounted for this by adding a second part to their study.

    They still had participants read the scientific text, either the dualist or holistic versions. Then afterwards, they offered free cookbooks to participants as compensation. Participants received either a cookbook for unhealthy food or one for healthy food. Researchers found participants who read the holistic viewpoint opted for the healthier cookbook, whereas the dualist viewpoint readers chose the unhealthy version.

    The results of this study are significant.

    People who adopt more holistic views of health tend to make healthier choices. How do you think of health?

    John Gallagher, LMHC has been a practicing therapist for over 15 years. He has experience counseling couples and individuals dealing with a variety of issues and concerns. Contact John for more tips and techniques for healthier living.