Mind and body are one system – a quick exercise

Mind and body are one system

(Warning: you won’t get much value from this posting unless you do the exercise)

Our minds and emotions are ’embodied’ – or to put it another way, mind and body are one system. If we didn’t have human-shaped bodies, our language and the concepts we use to think with would be very different.

What it comes down to is this: how your body is – its state of health, how you stand, how you breathe, the way you move, what you eat – affects your mind and emotions, and vice versa.

For example, it’s impossible for your mind to be calm if the muscles of your body are constantly tensed, and it’s very hard to be stressed if your body is fully relaxed.

It’s easy to experience the mind-body link in practice. Try this quick experiment:

  1. Slump over and look at your feet. Now, try to remember a time when you were happy, excited and full of energy….
  2. Now, stand up, look up, and throw your arms wide – and try to remember a time that was quite boring, grey and miserable….

Notice what happened. I’m guessing that for most of you, it was not easy to remember a happy time when you were slumped over, and also not easy to bring to mind a dull, miserable time when you were standing up and looking up in a posture that usually means ‘exultation’.

© 2012 – 2019, Andy Smith. All rights reserved.


  1. The NLP Coaching

    Interesting exercise, thank you for your sharing!

  2. Hiten

    Hi Andy,

    I just followed your steps and experienced what you said would happen. When I was slumped over, thinking of something happy was difficult. And when I was standing confidently with arms out, it was hard to think of something sad.

    What a powerful technique to demonstate the mind-body connection and how much our physiology really can impact how we feel.

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Rosie O'Hara

    Oh yes I really like this I use it on my Practitioner Courses thanks for sharing Andy;)

  4. Kumlaish kumari

    Hi Andy, great exercise I will definitely use it.

  5. Anne Bugler

    Hi Andy I too will use it in my practise and certainly will share it!

    Many thanks

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