Sarah invited me to do a guest post today. What fun! Look at this place. Hey, Sarah, why is there a painting of an incontinent T-rex on the wall?
Oh. It’s a Rorschach blot? Okay, please don’t analyze what I just said.
Anyway. Since I tackle a lot of medical stuff on my blog and Sarah handles the psychological ones, it made sense to discuss the Mind-Body connection.
I see evidence of the mind-body connection all the time. Here’s a smattering of real-life examples.
- Stress causing headaches and elevated blood pressure
- Laughter lowering blood pressure, increasing infection-fighting cytokines in the blood, and lowering cortisol (a stress hormone)
- Depression as a risk factor for heart attacks
- Broken-heart syndrome (Takasubo’s cardiomyopathy)
As a writer, why does this matter? Because you have to consider how a stressful situation might make your character feel and what it might do to his/her body. If they have multiple sclerosis, their disease might flare. If they lose a spouse, they’d be at higher risk of dying within that same year. If they have a new diagnosis of a chronic illness, depression may rear its head.
As a writer, you should also consider this—fiction is one thing; YOU are another. I know that snacking and sedentary habits often go hand-in-hand with a writer’s lifestyle. I rarely get on my doctor’s soapbox to lecture, but in this case, I shall for the benefit of my many writer friends out in the blogosphere.
In order to have a healthy mind to produce those amazing, brilliant pieces of writing you produce, a healthy body truly does help. Exercise can do wonders for writer’s block, and healthy eating can do wonders for a writer’s end.
Yes, I’m talking both THE END and the REAR END.
*jumps off soapbox*
Sarah, thanks for having me. I hope that T-Rex practices her Kegel exercises.
And readers, remember to make an effort to stay healthy and always consider the mind-body connection for your characters!
*looks up from scribbling down theories of Dr. Kang's deepest unconscious urges* Thanks, Lydia! I have to admit I sorely neglect my poor body, so this is a great reminder to take better care of it.
Don't forget to visit Laura's blog today, where she answers this month's Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog question: "How do your pets/kids/plants (something you take care of) influence your writing? Do they help you, or distract you? Do you include them in your stories?"
Now--what's your mind-body connection? Do you try to ignore it, like me (and then realize you can't actually get away with it)? Or do you find exercise and eating right is an essential part of your writing routine? What about the mind-body connection in your characters?