“As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.”
James Allen, As a Man Thinketh
Our bodies react to our thoughts, emotions and beliefs. Science is now proving what many eastern philosophers and mind body practitioners have always known; there is a direct correlation between what goes on in our mind and what happens in the body. Our self talk and beliefs generate emotions which in turn affect our hormones. Chronic and persistent negative attitudes, beliefs, and internal dialogue not only upset the body’s hormonal balance but can damage our immune system as well.
What sparked this train of thought you might wonder? Well, a few weeks ago I visited my chiropractor who is also a kinesiologist. He is helping me overcome some significant health issues at the moment. We’ve been working toward a solution for some time now and he was baffled as to why certain symptoms hadn’t improved with treatment. He identified, as he was muscle testing, that whatever was impeding my recovery was also frying my brain. Puzzlement gave way to understanding as he pointed to the middle of my head and said “It’s hate. Self hate. Hate directed toward yourself.” He told me that my body couldn’t recover until I got that under control.
I felt as though I’d been slapped. How damning for someone to name what was actually going on inside me, the very thing I’ve been hiding from the world for the last thirty or so years.
You see, I’m guilty of some pretty negative self talk at times (Yes, even relatively high functioning and seemingly well balance people have inner demons) but to be honest I wasn’t aware just how bad it was.
Of course the tears flowed.
I’ve been trying to improve my inner dialogue and find ways to love myself more for probably the last ten years. I get good at it then something happens that triggers a downward spiral and I plummet into despair and self loathing. Who would know, right? It’s not like I’m going to disclose it to the world for fear of being judged as weak, mad or unstable. (Oh, hang on. I did just now disclose my dirty little secret to the world. Judge away. Condemn if you will.)
My husband, bless his heart, has for years seen this demon wreak havoc with my self esteem, confidence and joy. He has often counselled me to stop being so hard on myself. It’s not like I haven’t listened or heard him clearly. At times I was simply at a loss as to how to change the cycle.
I have used meditation, exercise and a clean diet to help get on top of this with varying degrees of success. You kind of have to make time to do these things, consistently, for them to work consistently. When I get tired, down or just plain lazy, they are the first things to go.
So, here I was, facing my chiropractor, a lovely young man, tears streaming down my face and he is telling me all the same things as suggested ways to help me overcome this hate. Diet, exercise, meditation. “Yep! you’ve been doing it for years but you can’t just dip in every now and then. It has to be a habit. You have to make it a daily routine. A minute by minute focus.”
That’s a gem right there – a minute by minute attention to what’s going on inside and pulling it up as it occurs. I’ll work with that.
Three more of his suggestions also struck a chord. He said to ask the universe to help me find things to be passionate about, find a physical challenge (like training for a triathlon – does he realise I’m forty-four and haven’t run in five years?) and use the word ‘love’ as my mantra.
So, I’ve asked the universe to help me find a passion, something to get my attention, hold my interest and get me excited about life. Already, a few things have popped up. On the physical challenge front, I am strongly considering a hike to base camp of Ama Dublam next year. I reckon that ticks off one and two. It’s something to get passionate about and a challenge.
On the mantra front, I kid you not, I’m using it all the time. Whenever I catch myself in negative self talk I simply chant the words “love, love, love” and I come back to myself. It really is that simple. I chanted a lot in the first few days and as the weeks stretched on, I’ve not needed to chant quite so much.
Our mind and body share an intimate and dynamic relationship. Understanding this relationship won’t necessarily cure all our ills but by learning to pay attention to our symptoms and illnesses we can discover, as Louise Hay has taught, how repressed as well as overt emotions are influencing our physical and mental health and wellbeing.
So, if your body is your temple and knowing your body reacts to your thoughts; what are you feeding yours today?
Yours in continued personal development,