Health & Safety Guidelines  »  Staying Well

Your mind and your body are one unit. They define who you are.

How you think and feel plays a role in your mental and physical health. These, in turn, affect your state of mind. Your brain makes chemicals that control pain. These are called endorphins. It also makes gamma globulin. This helps your immune system. Another chemical it makes is called interferon. This helps your body fight viruses. How much of these chemicals your brain makes depends on your physical health, attitude, and emotions. Aerobic exercise increases endorphin levels. Having a positive attitude may do this, too. Positive thinkers tend to deal with pain better than negative thinkers do.

Taking care of your body and mending your “mind” can help prevent and treat health conditions. Ways to do this include:

  1. Meditation and yoga. Yoga uses body postures, movements, and breathing exercises. These unite the body, mind, and spirit. Yoga improves blood pressure and circulation. It increases flexibility and mental fitness.

  2. Relaxation exercises.

  3. Biofeedback. Biofeedback devices help you learn to control your body’s automatic responses to stress. Then you learn to control stress without these devices.

  4. Humor. Laughter can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and elevate mood.

  5. Spirituality. Connecting to a higher power, praying, etc. can provide hope, help you deal with things you cannot change, and help you cope with illness. Reaching out to help others and attending a place of worship can provide a sense of community and shared purpose.

  6. Mental imagery. Imagining soothing pictures in the mind can relax the body and reduce stress. Practice the exercise in the box below.

Personal Mental Imagery

Choose a scene that relaxes you, such as watching a sunset. Imagine being there using these 10 steps:

  1. 1.Find a comfortable sitting or other position.  

  2. 2.Gently close your eyes.  

  3. 3.Focus only on a gentle breathing pattern.  

  4. 4.Think about the relaxing scene you chose. Picture being there and what you do when your mind and body are so very, very relaxed. Create and capture the image of your quiet place.  

  5. 5.Pretend that you are really there. Picture all the colors...Hear the sounds...Smell the aromas...Taste...Touch your surroundings as if you are really there...Enjoy...Relax...  

  6. 6.Feel the calm and peace...Allow yourself to feel good...Let your whole body relax and enjoy the moment.  

  7. 7.Pause for 5 to 10 minutes and become filled with relaxation.  

  8. 8.Allow the relaxation to re-energize your body and mind.  

  9. 9.As you feel comfortable, slowly open your eyes, feeling totally refreshed.

  10. 10.Escape to your special place anytime you wish to relax, if even for a moment.


Center for Mind-Body Medicine