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The Mind – Body Connection

Mind-Body Connection is the belief that the causes, development and outcomes of a physical illness are determined from the interaction of psychological, social factors and biological factors.

Your emotional health includes:

  • your overall psychological well-being;
  • your feelings about yourself;
  • the quality of your relationships, at work and at home;
  • your ability to create and use positive coping skills;
  • your ability to manage your feelings.

Emotional health can be affected by the stress from both good and bad life events like marriage/divorce, promotion/lay-off or the purchase of a house/home foreclosure. It also can be affected by daily routines such as fighting rush hour traffic, meeting a deadline, unrealistic self-expectations, and interpersonal relationships.

And your body responds to this stress and to anxiety or depression. For example, when you’re stressed—even by something positive—you might develop high blood pressure, a stomach ulcer, back pain, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, and you may have trouble falling or staying asleep.

Some tips on how to improve your mind-body connection & emotional health

Practice stress management techniques. Stress management techniques, including writing, participating in a hobby, using a creative outlet, volunteering or meditating, can help you focus on things that are happening in the here-and-now.

Calm your mind and body. Relaxation methods, such as meditation or deep breathing, are useful ways to bring your emotions into balance.

Invest in you. Sometimes it can be important to schedule time just for yourself, to do whatever it is that you need to do to help yourself emotionally. What do you like doing? What are you passionate about? And invest in all areas of your health: nutrition, fitness, relationships, work-life balance and personal hobbies.

Develop resilience. People with resilience are able to cope with stress and emotions in a healthy way. Resilience can be learned and strengthened with different strategies. These include having social support, keeping a positive view of yourself, accepting change and keeping things in perspective.

You Can Help Your Patients Find Their Emotional Balance

Johns Hopkins Medicine has developed Balance, a two-part program to help individuals be emotionally fit.

Here’s how it works. Individuals take an online emotional health assessment that will reveal their level of stress, anxiety and other emotional vital signs. The assessment is free and confidential. And it can be completed in less than 10 minutes.

When they submit their completed assessment, they’ll immediately receive their results, and based on their results, they may be eligible for a confidential consultation with a Balance Care Concierge. This is a specially trained, master’s level, licensed clinical social worker who will talk to them about their results and what support they may need and want.

The Care Concierge will work with the individual to create an action plan, and connect them to the resources that will help them get into good emotional shape. And the Care Concierge will follow the individual’s progress to make sure they’re getting the right care at the right time from the right resources for them.

Here are a few comments from recent Balance program participants (names cannot be shared, to protect participants’ privacy):

  • “It was positive and nice to talk to someone other than myself who really listened.”
  • “[My Care Concierge] was easy to talk to and actually listened to what was going on with me. He provided positive feedback and resources that were very helpful.”
  • “I liked the fact that I could do a consultation by phone[. I]t was very convenient.”
  • “The advice and the techniques the therapist gave me were very useful and made me look at things in a different way to help me deal with my anxiety.”
  • “[My Care Concierge] was an incredible listener, very informative about the help that could be offered to me and made me feel like this was the first time I have hope for getting real hope. She was wonderful.”
  • “Talking with someone was a step forward.”
  • “Easy and convenient. Provided options and flexibility to fit my needs.”

Learn more about the Balance emotional health program.