This article peeks through the keyhole onto the reverse side of the ancient Latin proverb ‘Mens sana in corpore sano’, which means ‘A healthy mind in a healthy body.’
Twenty years of clinical experience, hundreds of real life case studies, and an extensive review of neuroscience and epigenetics, all made me realize that the backside of this axiom is also true: With healthy Mind – Healthy Body.
As the holiday season approaches and we are making New Year’s resolutions about our health, let’s keep an eye on the prize: good health starts with your Mindset. It needs to be planted like a seed
and nourished like a beautiful tree. We often make the mistake of just making a decision to start losing weight, or to start exercising, or to start spending more time with the family and less time working. Any and all of these decisions are wonderful and noble but we make them on the conscious level, like the one at which you are reading these words.
Unless we understand how the Mindset is formed, it will be hard for these resolutions to materialize. Why? Well, for starters, our Mind is a product of everything that we have ever experienced
developmentally and culturally. So, for example, if you have grown up and lived in the South and ate a full plate of grits with butter for breakfast, and one day you just decide to start eating a cup of fat free
cottage cheese with half an ounce of berries, your body will go along with your idea for a couple of days or weeks, however fringe it may seem to be.
A week or two into your journey however, after dreaming about your grits last night, you will awaken with an urge to have a plate of that familiar, hearty, and warm plate of grits. This is what made you comfortable and happy for years! You are very likely to reach out for your usual food of choice at this point – grits. You have neuron networks in your brain that have built the associations between grits
and carefree childhood. Cozy mornings when Mom served it to you nice and warm evoking feelings of family and stability.
There is just so much emotional content wired into these neuronal pathways of your memories related to what you were eating most of your life -that a simple resolution is not enough to move this boulder. For the record, I don’t think there is anything wrong with grits once in a while – just using it as an example here to make a point.
Another reason, why many New Year’s resolutions fail is that we make them on the cerebral level – an analytical level. It just so happens that most of our brain processing -a whopping 95%- occurs on the
subconscious/habitual level. So, the majority of your living, eating, exercising, and communication habits are so cemented by repetitive neuronal firing for decades, that it becomes a part of your automatic knee-jerk behavioral response. This is why most of our day happens on an autopilot.
We wake up at the same time every morning, brush teeth the same way with the same toothbrush. Wash hands the same way. Drink coffee from our favorite mug. Eat the same breakfast. Wear the same clothes. Drive the same car. Same route to work. See the same people. Get upset at the same things. You get the picture. This pattern is a result of years of entraining your Mind and Body to the same routine, accompanied by memories, relationships, and emotions. Changing any segment in this
lifestyle requires much more than just a holiday resolution. It requires rewiring your brain and changing your Mind – a monumental amount of work – and only then the body responds in kind.
“I am going to change…” is a beautiful intention to start with, but it can materialize only if you work on your new goals long and hard, daily and not alone.
Long lasting changes in your life are best implemented under the guidance of your holistic doctor – someone you trust with your health and your innermost desires. Someone who comes from a place of integrity, expertise, and compassion – to guide you towards making your New Year’s resolution a reality.
Svetlana Kogan, M.D.
720 Fifth Ave S, Unit 209, Naples, FL 34102 | (239) 676-6883 www.customlongevity.com