Boosting Your Emotional Immunity

For many years now, science has been trying to separate objects down to their atoms in order to get a better understanding of how things work.  Even an atom isn't just an atom anymore because they are made of protons, neutrons and electrons.  I wish I could stop there but science demands we divide the neutrons and protons down even further into quarks and gluons.

When scientists breakdown an atom like this, it really helps in understanding how the atom works.  Applying this logic to humanity would mean that the more we separate a man, the better we can understand him.  But does breaking down a human into separate parts really help us to understand a person better?  Can we say that one is made of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual?  We can in the sense that the four aspects are evident, distinct and identifiable.  There is no doubt some overlap but how much and have we been underestimating the connection between the four realms of a person?

I came across an article in the Journal of Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice that strongly demonstrates overlap of the physical and emotional.  In fact, the correlation between exercise and decreased anxiety and/or depression was so strong that introducing exercise in a clinical setting was be advisable in many cases.  Pilates everyday keeps the shrink away... (Sorry, I'll have to work on that).

This was one study of many that report these same findings.  The world of western health care is starting to embrace the mind/body connection more readily as of recent years.  As more and more research comes out, there surely will be more "prescribing" of exercise along with traditional treatments in order to deal with various mental health issues as well as physical ailments.

I'll be the first one to admit it, when my life gets stressful and busy, the first thing in my routine that gets cut is exercise.  It's as if I need that time I would have been running to worry about what all is going on in my life.  If we would only take the time to continue exercising through whatever life circumstances, we would be able to enjoy the benefits of decreased anxiety and depression.

Friends Michael and Dylan in CO hiking up Mount Sopris.
 Hiking is one of my favorite forms of exercise.
Definitely hard to be stressed on a trip like this! 

Friend Jagen crossing the finish at the  
Stump Jump 50k in Chattanooga TN
Accomplishing physical goals = emotional bliss :-)

Name your physicial activity of choice.

Stathopoulou, G., Powers, M. B., Berry, A. C., Smits, J. A. J. and Otto, M. W. (2006), Exercise Interventions for Mental Health: A Quantitative and Qualitative Review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 13: 179–193.