Minding the Body, Mending the Mind Minding the Body, Mending the mind, by Joan Borysenko Ph.D, is a book that is dedicated to wellness and health in the since that it is not just about being physically fit, but also mentally fit by being aware of your thoughts, your diet, your responses, even your breath.This book seems to coincide with many of the things that we have learned in class this semester, like focusing on our breaths, how to just be aware of things that we are thinking and doing, and how important our beliefs are and how they can affect us.
“You cannot control the external circumstances of your life, but you can control your reactions to them.” This quote from Dr. Borysenko is referring how you react to stress and other issues in your life. According to the Doctor when faced with a situation you should reframe, and then breathe. By the word breathe, she means focus on your breathe and let them come from deep within your diaphragm and even have some sort of a mantra, it doesn’t matter what this is as long as it is peaceful or comforting to you.
This breathing technique helps to calm you and relieve tenses in the body’s muscles. Dr. Borysenko spends a great deal of time talking about the many techniques that you can do with just simply your breathing and the effects that it can have.Along side the breathing techniques Dr. Borysenko readily supports meditation, time where you just simply focus, or pray, and let your body relax. Where the mind and the body meet, this is where wellness begins.The mind is such a powerful thing when talking about wellness.
Dr. Borysenko states that “our beliefs are incredibly powerful”.This is where things such as our ego and mind traps come into play.
The ego, said Dr. Borysenko is “ a merciless judge who forever divides the world into good and bad, vigilantly sizing things up to make sure that we get what we want and avoid what we don’t want.” According to the doctor the ego tries to end our suffering about things by attempting to explain why we hurt in the first place. It works off of negative beliefs that we have stored up for a lifetime, and then hammers these beliefs into what is knows as mind traps.
Mind traps are things that keep us from having a correct view of life. There are six basic mind traps, negative personal beliefs, social beliefs, doing it my way, rationalizing, disillusionment, and despair. Dr. Borysenko has come up with three ways or “levels of understanding” to overcome these mind traps.
Level 1 is the beginner’s level and I love this quote “Understanding begins with an admission of our ignorance”, it’s like AA, the first step is admitting you’re an alcoholic. Level.