Somatopsychic. Interesting word, and another word that’s not straight-forward to spell. I am grateful for Ctrl+V and Ctrl+P. Anyway…
somatopsychic is a term used in relation to how the body affects the mind. We so often hear of how the mind affects the body (psychosomatic effects), yet the opposite is also true, and I wonder if it’s not more true. After all, the foods, liquids and chemicals we ingest will trigger all kinds of activities within our bodies, and those will in turn affect our moods.
Take the obvious one. Alcohol has a range of effects on the body. In relatively small quantities it can relax us (it certainly does with me). This is more than a mental state, this is down to the effect of alcohol upon our physiology. Whilst I am not personally acquainted with any form of smoking, the effects of cigarettes, cannabis and other substances can have mind-altering qualities, and these qualities come from the chemical stimulation the substances provide.
What of other ways the body can affect the mind? Certain, um, pleasant physical stimuli can have an emotional impact. Sex with your partner can not only feel physically good, it can feel emotionally rewarding. The pleasurable physical actions and the emotional satisfaction become twinned. This goes beyond sex as well. Eating something you really enjoy feels good, not merely in terms of taste, but in terms of emotional well-being as well. Going to the gym might be physically laborious, but a lot of gym-goers report a sort of mental high from the exertion.
There are undoubtedly many other ways in which the body affects the mind, but I thought I’d leave you on a high!