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18. Mind, body and soul work: what it is, why it's important and how to do it

Listen on Apple Podcasts here.

Listen on Spotify here.

In this episode, I discuss:

  • why we should adopt a holistic approach to our mental health and wellbeing journey

  • the three parts of us that create the people we are and what that means

  • the benefits of mind, body and soul work, including some evidence and studies

  • what happens if we neglect one part of us

  • some ideas for working with each part of us

Podcast Transcript

Welcome to the Mindful Soul Collective Podcast, a safe space for your healing.

I'm your host Shorina, a counsellor, well-being coach, multi-bus owner and mum.

I'm here to talk all things mind, body and soul.

You can expect conversations on mental health, mindfulness, mindset, healing and whole body wellness.

I've completely redefined my relationship to myself and to my life.

And now it's your turn.

Hello and welcome back to the podcast.

In today's episode, I'm going to be exploring the concept of holistic health and why it's

important to treat the whole person. Now before I lose anyone, I really want to encourage you to listen to today's episode in full. Even if you think that holistic health is a bit of a woo-woo topic, I really encourage you to listen to the full episode anyway because I am going to share some great info. I'm going to share some studies related to all of it as well.

So please listen with an open mind and just know that you might walk away having an entirely new perspective on your mental health and wellbeing journey.

There are three parts of you that are working to create the person that you are today.

There is your mind, your body and your soul.

I work with clients to adopt a holistic approach and address all three areas leading to a complete whole body experience of life. So envision or imagine the happiest, healthiest, most purposeful version of you. And that is what's possible when you're working with all three parts. So that's why I work with clients to ensure we're addressing all three areas.

And like you'll find in this episode, you'll realize why it's so important as well.

Coaching and counseling is so incredibly beneficial. I did it for many years and I think it's beyond powerful. But when we're doing regular counseling and coaching and even things like psychology, that's really only looking at the mind part of us. When you approach this journey with the mind, the body and the soul part in mind, you're able to actually dive a lot deeper, you'll heal a lot deeper and in return, experience love and presence and joy and peace deeper as well, which let's be honest, we all want that.

This approach recognizes that each part of us is interconnected and interdependent.

If we're going to neglect or if we neglect one area, then it's really going to have

an effect on all the other areas as well.

So with this said, it's so, so important to make sure that all parts of us are balanced.

In today's episode, we're going to be discussing the benefits of prioritizing holistic health,

which again, is the mind, the body and the soul, how taking care of the whole person

is crucial for our mental health and wellbeing, as well as some studies that back all of

this up and of course discussing what the hell all of this means, how we can do it and all

the things. So grab a cup of tea, grab your bone broth, grab your water, grab whatever you want, sit back and let's dive in.

Let's talk about the three aspects separately to start off with. So first, the mind.

The mind is our cognitive and emotional wellbeing part. So it includes conscious and unconscious thoughts, our beliefs, our values and our emotions. Our mind influences our perception of the world, how we respond to different situations and that of course can have a huge impact on and effect on our behavior and overall mental health. Thoughts and beliefs are often the driving force behind our actions and negative or unhealthy

thoughts can then lead to negative behaviors, which of course is going to impact our mental health.

For example, if somebody has thoughts like, I'm not good enough or I can't do this, that's

going to lead to a lack of confidence and a lack of self esteem. But on the flip side, the other hand, positive and healthy thoughts can lead to better self confidence, more motivation and of course again, improved mental health.

Emotions are also an important part of the mind part too. So they directly influence how we behave and think. So negative emotions such as anxiety, stress or fear can do damage to our mental health and on the other side of things, positive emotions like happiness, joy and contentment can boost our mental health and wellbeing too.

And I just want to point out as well that when I use the word negative for emotions,

there's actually no such thing as a bad emotion. They just are what they are. It's an emotion, but I'm using the term negative in the sense of perceived negative. Like it's uncomfortable. We don't necessarily like it, but it is telling you something. So I did just want to point that out.

Now let's talk about our body.

I could be here all day with all these by the way, but I'm trying to keep the episode

short and sweet for you to yes, the body. The physical body is the tangible part of our being of us. So as we know, our body has lots of different organs and systems and functions and things that need proper care and attention to be able to function at their best. Again I could be here all day with examples of what working with the body aspect of us is, but some of the main things are diet, movement, sleep, nervous system regulation and overall health. So things like getting regular checkups with the doctor, maybe seeing the dentist, all those kinds of things. If you know my work at all, I usually refer to this as the basics.

And the last aspect of us is our soul or spiritual part. This refers to the innermost aspect of our being. So beyond the physical and mental aspects of ourselves, our soul includes our purpose, values, beliefs and outlook on life. It's what gives us meaning and direction.

It can influence our actions and decisions. When our soul or spiritual health is healthy and nurtured, we're going to feel fulfilled. We're going to feel content and we're going to feel in alignment with our highest potential. I will also mention here that this can also be connecting to a higher power or purpose. So that could be God. That could be the universe, your higher self, your future self maybe. Angels, whatever feels good to you. But in saying that as well, if you're not sure if none of them connect to you, if you don't think there's a higher power, that's okay as well. It does still come back to your purpose, your values, your beliefs and your outlook on life.

When we're wanting to work from a whole body approach, which honestly, we should all be working with the whole body, you're going to find that the mind, body and soul are interconnected and cannot be separated from one another. When we neglect one area, that's going to affect the other areas and disrupt our overall sense of wellbeing. And then that of course leads to affecting our mental health.

So for example, if we neglect our mental health, that can very easily and often does

lead to physical symptoms. So I know for me personally, when I struggled with my mental health, which was because I was actually lacking mind, body and soul work, but that did lead to physical symptoms such as chronic pain, anxiety, headaches, I wasn't sleeping, my heart was racing.

And then on the other hand of things, say you were to neglect your physical health, you will probably find that that's also going to impact your mental and emotional wellbeing as well, which can lead to things like depression, low self esteem and also stress.

If we were to neglect our soul and spiritual health and part of us, that can lead to feelings

of disconnection, our lack of purpose. So you may not have any idea on where you're going, what you want from life or who the heck you are at the core as well.

We really need to be prioritizing all three parts of our life. We cannot just focus on one or two areas of ourselves. When we prioritize our whole being, which again, is mind, body and soul, we experience physical, mental and emotional benefits that can positively impact all areas of our life. So for example, engaging in regular exercise, any healthy diet, those things are going to boost energy levels, improve our physical health and reduce stress. Practicing mindfulness and working with a counsellor or coach can improve our mental health and our relationships with others. And when we do soul work for me personally, things like gratitude, meditation, maybe community service, volunteering, those kinds of things, you're going to feel feelings of purpose, connection and joy.

Now I hope I've really been able to explain all of that to you. I know a lot of info already.

Taking care of our whole body has so many benefits and I wanted to share my favourite

ones with you along with some evidence because we all love a bit of proof. I love the evidence. I know you guys do too.

So the first benefit is improved physical health, which I think we all know is important

and has so many benefits. But honestly, a lot of us don't actually prioritise our body part of things, which means we're really lacking here. I have so many clients come to me and they sleep for hours and drink no water. That's going to make a massive impact on our health. So several studies have shown that regularly moving our body, eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep benefits our physical health. And now I'm sure again, we all know this, but I will mention that a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That was a mouthful. Found that a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, healthy diet and not smoking, can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

The second benefit is improved mental health. Again, heaps of studies here show that when we work with the mind and practise things like self care, meditation, therapy, they're all going to improve mental health. A systematic review of studies published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that mindfulness based interventions, which is a lot of my work, can reduce depression and anxiety.

The third benefit is better relationships and hands up who wants better relationships.

Me, you, we all do. So research has shown that actively taking care of emotional health, which again is the mind and practising things such as empathy and forgiveness can improve our relationships. A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that individuals who practised empathy and forgiveness experienced more positive emotions and better relationships.

And the fourth and probably my favourite benefit is having a sense of purpose. When we do things that cultivate a sense of purpose, which really is our sole work and our sole part of things, it's going to improve our mental health. A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research in 2016 found that individuals who reported having a strong sense of purpose had better mental health outcomes, including lower rates of depression and anxiety. And the researchers also found that the purpose in life helped to buffer against negative effects of stress on mental health.

Now those four benefits are my favourites. They're also the studies, which as you could probably tell, I was reading word for word because I wanted to make sure that was right.

So some words that I wouldn't usually use, like individuals. But I did want to get all of that stuff right for you.

As you can tell, this stuff is so important. But I didn't want to end the episode there.

I wanted to end the episode by giving you a couple of suggestions for each part. And as always, take what you want. Leave what you don't. I only ask that you please make sure you are working and prioritising all three parts of you. It is so important.

So for your mind, some ideas could be meditating, breathing exercises, breath work, mindfulness practices. It could be reading and journaling. It could be doing counselling and coaching. And it could be having a gratitude practice or using positive affirmations.

For your body part, some ideas would be regular movement and exercise, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, having enough quality sleep and rest, and getting regular checkups and health screenings by your doctor.

And when you are working with your soul, some ideas for that is engaging in activities that are going to bring you joy and some kind of fulfilment. So think of things kind of like hobbies. Another idea is connecting with nature. That could be through walking outside, just sitting outside, grounding. It could be volunteering or helping others in the community. And it could be if this feels right to you, engaging in spiritual or religious practices, like going to church or praying, whatever aligns with your beliefs.

So now you know why it's important we work from that holistic point of view and include

all three parts of our whole being, our whole self, our whole person, our mind, our body

and our soul. You've got the evidence there to back up everything I've said and I've given you some suggestions.

If you are wanting to work deeper with any of this and you want to start to work with

the mind, body and soul, I would love to chat with you. Head to the show notes, I've got some direct links to more info and booking sessions and all that sort of stuff and working with me. And if you have any questions about anything, if something doesn't make sense, if you would like me to elaborate on anything, reach out on Instagram, let me know. I love hearing from you so much. And thank you for listening.

If you enjoyed today's episode, please share it with a friend. Please leave me a review.

That really helps me, the podcast, my business, it helps so much. So I hope you enjoyed this week's episode, sending you lots of love and support and I'll speak to you next week.


With love & support,

Shorina | Mindful Soul Collective

Counsellor & Wellbeing Coach


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