Ah, yes, the mind/body connection. The more we hear about how important it is, the more we should pay attention. What gives, Ladies and Gentlemen (we’ve got some male fans now)? Why are we still letting our silly emotional dysfunction eat away at our flesh? My sneaking suspicion is that we don’t really see it at work because it happens slowly. The botched project, the disobedient kids, the unpaid mortgage, the fight with your significant other – all things that can bring the emotions from hell. Guess what? Those flaming feelings are the ones that are bringing down the good guys (disease-fighting cells) in your body.
We Are Becoming Chemiholics
It’s no coincidence that those who are emotionally compromised tend to slack off on exercise, eating healthfully, and spending time with friends. You see the vicious cycle? When you stop doing the good things for your body on top of producing the “bad” chemical cocktail (AKA excessive cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine), you have created a prescription for disease.
When the release of these chemicals comes at a time when you need them, like when you have to run from an angry dog; when you need to rush to get ready for work because your alarm didn’t go off; when you are attacked by an intruder. Understand that sending the message of stress constantly pours unneeded amounts of chemicals into our systems. And with no “emergency” to use them up, they are damaging the very body that they mean to protect.
Here’s the good news:
Just as the bad emotions and thoughts create a crisis, good ones are equally at work making your body jump for joy with positive immune-boosting chemicals. So don’t you think you should start thinking about some of those good things? The fact is your mindset is your ticket to freedom from stress and depression.
There is a form of Psychotherapycalled Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The concept says that what we think causes our feelings and behavior. Duhhh! The benefit of this type of therapy is that with changing our thoughts we can change our emotions and our actions even if the situation hasn’t changed. This sounds by far better than wallowing in pity and self-destruction when our experience gets shaky.
Some people have trouble connecting to their inner thoughts and feelings, maybe because they don’t practice it regularly. That’s OK. You can always start today. Try getting calm and comfie in your favorite chair. Kick out the dog and any other potential interruptions (you know what or who they are). Allow yourself to think through whatever comes to mind. You can also jot down the prominent thoughts, as this might give you a clue to trouble areas. Feel into your body. Do you tense up when you think about something negative? Do you relax and even smile when you allow happy ideas to come to mind? Notice how your body reacts to each thought (good and bad).
Now, try to purposely focus on the opposite of those thoughts that bring a stressful response. See how long you can remain in the state of joy that comes from changing your mind. The more you practice this type of meditation, the more benefit you’ll have. Let us know how you do this week. Be well-be beautiful.
Resource: NACBT Online Headquarters