“Mind Body Spirit”, Explained

“Mind Body Spirit”, Explained

Still not sure what the ever-present phrase Mind, Body, Spirit actually means? You’re not alone! Millions of people see the term every day without really understanding it at all.

That’s too bad, since the concepts behind Mind, Body, Spirit can change your life! People from all sectors of life use the term, so perhaps now’s the time for you to finally learn what it means when people talk about the “mind, body, spirit connection”.

“Mind, Body, Spirit” is All Around Us

It’s true: it’s everywhere. After all, it’s not just “hippy types” or “new age types” who abide by the rules of the mind-body-spirit concepts. It’s also:

  • entrepreneurs & successful CEOs
  • professional athletes
  • doctors & other medical professionals
  • school districts

In fact, evidence of an awareness of the mind-body-spirit connection is all around you, if you know what to look for:

  • prayer rooms in airports
  • gym membership discounts at work
  • meditation in schools
  • aromatherapy in doctors’ waiting rooms
  • Feng Shui in public spaces or offices

See? You already have some experience with Mind, Body, Spirit and you didn’t even know it. Now, let’s get down to what it means by covering the basic definition and major concepts behind this global and ancient idea.

What Does “Mind, Body, Spirit” Mean?

Your mind is affected by your body, and vice versa. Your mind is affected by your spirit, and vice versa. Your body is affected by your mind and your spirit and vice versa.

Don’t follow? That’s OK, since when it’s written that way, the concept is quite convoluted. Let’s try a different approach!

Mind, Body, Spirit means that our well-being comes from not just physical health, but from mental health and spiritual health as well. To be “healthy”, we must pay attention to all three aspects of our nature…mind, body and spirit.

Here are a few examples:

  • Ever wonder why you get a headache when you’re stressed? There’s a prime example of how your mind is affecting your body.
  • Have you noticed that when you don’t exercise, you feel depressed? That’s your body affecting your mind.
  • Or how about when you eat too much because you’re nervous?
  • Remember that amazing feeling you had last time you went to a spa, had a massage, or practiced yoga…calm, happy, and even confident? That is your mind and your body and possibly even your spirit all working together to make you feel great.
  • The same principle is at work for people who attend Church: they feel good after services….they feel “whole”, happy, and focused.

The main concept behind Mind, Body, Spirit is that we are all more than just our thoughts. We are also our bodies, our emotions, and our spirituality…all these things combine to give us identity, determine our health, and make us who we are.

Practical Applications of Mind, Body, Spirit

Our physical health is partly determined by our mental health. Even conventional doctors now ask us about stress and turmoil in our lives when we see them for physical ailments. That’s because even today’s modern medical practitioners, trained in Western medical schools, have been taught to pay attention to the mind-body-spirit concept.

Let’s look at the world of psychiatry and counseling. People who harbor negative emotions can often make themselves physically sick. It’s actually been proven that mental issues can manifest themselves in the body, making us sick.

Some even believe that long term festering of negative emotions such as hatred, fear, anger and jealousy will cause some forms of cancer. In fact, if you look hard enough, there are mind-spirit causes for just about every physical ailment you can think of. This leads back to ancient cultures…

What Ancient Cultures Have Taught Us About Mind, Body, Spirit Connections

The Greeks knew about it: they knew a sound mind worked better in a sound body.

There is Greek Medicine, which puts forth that disease results from an imbalance with nature, among other things. Holistic healing stems from this concept. The body is more than the sum of its parts…there’s an energy or “life force” that goes beyond the mere physical nature of the body. The life force contains a deep-rooted biological intelligence that gives us immunity from disease, and when it leaves our body, we begin to age and die.

The ancient Greeks also believed in the healing power of Nature, the importance of our environment (we are what we eat, that’s called pepsis) and a general approach to health as a holistic endeavor.

Traditional Chinese culture also believes in the “life force”…

…only they call it Qi.

Ancient peoples from India knew about it as far back as 5000 BC, according to some. We know their teachings today as Yoga.

In yoga and Ayurveda, the life force is called prana. Same thing, only a different culture and language.

Native American wisdom incorporates a strong sense of mind, body spirit.

Yup, same principles at work here as with the Ancient Greeks, traditional Chinese, and yogi masters from thousands of years ago in India. What all these cultures knew was that there’s a strong connection between belief systems, health, and happiness.

In one form or another, each and every one of these very ancient belief systems is still in place today. The Ancient Greeks formed the basis of modern conventional medicine, in fact. You’ve seen yoga classes in virtually every town, and there are thousands of TCM practitioners at work today all across the world.

Mind, Body, Spirit & You

What can you take away from all this? For starters, the mind-body-spirit connection is deeply rooted in all our cultures, no matter where we’re from. Secondly, it’s still going full-force today, in its many forms.

We haven’t even told you about all the types of mind-body-spirit therapies yet! We’ve only touched upon a few of the big ones:

  • Yoga
  • TCM
  • Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) used by Hindus

Chances are, if you look at your own belief system, you’ll find bits and pieces of the mind-body-spirit connection already in place! In this day and age of mix & match belief systems, home remedies and alternative medicine, it’s not required that you go “all in” with one or another. A day of yoga complements your psychoanalyst sessions, as does your morning run, your vegan diet, or even your weekly visits to the spa.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Gladys Mclellan

    I have enjoy reading about the mine body and sprit

  2. Crystal Glass

    I really enjoyed reading about this and found it very helpful for a school project that I am doing.

  3. Christopher Selway

    Thank you Catherine for this interesting and informative article. I believe that we consist of a physical body, which includes our brain, and a spirit body, which includes our mind (or intelligence). I also believe that our thoughts are centered in our mind and our emotions in our spirit body. As you rightly point out, our physical body, spirit body and mind interact with one another and therefore all can affect our health and well being. This is why I believe that all three need to be taken into consideration when dealing with ill health : a holistic approach to healthcare. With such an approach, I believe we will see great advances in successfully dealing with mental and emotional illness.

  4. Osiris III

    You’re absolutely correct about many things in your article, but your history is a tad flawed. The Europeans actually received this concept under false pretenses from Africa mainly Kemet known as Egypt, thanks to Greece! Many of the Greek Philosophers studied the Mystery System in Kemet and in time Alexander of Greece and later the Roman Empire stole and practically destroyed everything in Kemet. The Kemetians were smart people and only gave away only a partial of the information and hid the rest, probably in plain sight. Regarding India and eastern Asia, they were in direct passage during the great migrations out of Africa, where Africans shared their knowledge of the Laws of Nature to whomever was seeking it all the way to the Americas. So a big whoop, whoop for Kemet, Kush and Nubia!!! I think what you’re doing is awesome but your history references needs to reflect Real History. One must remember, how one became enlightened with self reflection. So the World must be re-introduced to a Truth through its own self reflection, a one-sided tale of a belief system that fabricated a lie and sold it to its own people and later forced it on those of darker complexion even to this day.

    With Truth comes pain, relief, empowerment, happiness, love & peace…

  5. Tom

    Our thoughts are center balance point for body and mind seeking equilibrium..change the thoughts..change the balances for bettervor worse …for now or eternity

  6. Goodwin thres

    What happens when a person dies? I am fearful of dying.

    The Bible speaks of physical death and spiritual death. When a person dies physically, the soul and spirit leave the body in an inanimate state on earth. Those who die physically in Christ are united spiritually with God, while those who die apart from Christ await the final judgment. Physical death, therefore, is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body.

    Spiritual death is the separation of the soul and spirit from God. It is possible to be physically alive on earth while being spiritually dead. Apostle Paul describes those “who were dead in trespasses and sins” in Ephesians 2:1. Paul also wrote that sin entered the world through Adam and spread to every person (Romans 5:12), and that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Spiritually dead persons are “made alive” through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:1). Whatever one’s spiritual condition at the time of physical death, whether spiritually alive or spiritually dead, passes through to eternity.

    So physical death is the separation of the spiritual nature of man from the body, while spiritual death is the separation of the spiritual nature of man from God. For a Christian (born again), physical death is nothing more than a doorway through which we pass into eternal life. Jesus said it best: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). There is no reason for a Christian to fear physical death. Through faith in Christ, we have eternal life even before die physically (John 17:3).

    If you were to die right now, do you think you would enter into Heaven? Would you like to have the absolute assurance that you will be welcome there? If so then, pray this simple prayer:

    Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I know I cannot earn my way into Heaven. I thank you for sacrificing your life so that my sins could be forgiven. I know the only way anyone can receive forgiveness is through you, and so I come to you now and ask you to come into my life, forgive me of my sins, cleanse me, heal me, and be my personal savior so I may have eternal life through you. I pray in your name Jesus. Amen.

    As a continuation of your faith in Christ, you should start studying the Bible daily in order to gain a closer relationship with God, also find a local church to attend that teaches directly from the Bible so you will have someone to answer any questions you may still have. Welcome to the family of God!

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