You may already be aware of the deep, powerful, almost spiritual connection between our mind and body.
You’ve probably read countless stories about miraculous physical feats like mothers lifting impossibly heavy objects to save their children, people surviving for weeks in the wilderness without enough food or warmth, and sportsmen breaking records nobody thought could be beaten a week prior. You’ve also probably heard mind-blowing tales about the mind’s incredible power to heal the body: amazing cancer recoveries, unexplainable cures, and rapid improvements in terminally-ill patients for what appear to be no reason.
But have you ever wondered how this is actually possible?
How the mind can heal the body
The secret is understanding that the relationship between mind and body goes two ways. Just as it heals the body, your mind can also be a source of pain and disease.
This is particularly obvious with stress. Think about the last time you really felt stressed. How did your body feel? Did you begin to lose sleep, tense your muscles more often, and generally ‘feel’ unhealthy? That’s because your body was becoming more unbalanced. Stress and anxiety negatively affect both the chemical balances and the muscle structure in your body, because they condition it to constantly activate the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. As a result, the body is permanently responding to a physical threat that isn’t actually there – and it’s programmed to be ready to either run or stand and engage in combat.
Studies show strong links between stress and diseases like diabetes, heart disease, hernias and gastro-related problems. If you or someone you know deals with a high amount of stress, it could eventually manifest in their body in these ways.
And it’s not just stress either. Research into mind and body connections is showing that there are some very specific links between our emotions, particularly negative emotions, and the presence of pain in specific body parts.
In the chart below you will see the relationships between some pain that you or a friend might be having, and a particular area of the body:
If you’ve ever wondered why you always get repeating ankle pain, it could be because you’re feeling guilty about something that happened a long time ago. Or, perhaps you’ve experienced something that prevents you from enjoying pleasure. The connections may not be obvious, and might even be indirectly related. If something doesn’t come up straight away, think on it for a while. Something might strike you three days later in the shower!
How you can alleviate the pain in these body parts
If you’ve discovered some negative emotions that could be affecting your body, or that of a family member or friend, here’s what you can do next:
- You may intuitively know your next step. It might be as easy as accepting that your life is a bit unbalanced right now, and taking some obvious action to rebalance it.
- The best way to improve your health or alleviate pain straight away is with affirmations. If you haven’t come across these before, they are phrases that you repeat to yourself daily, often at a particular time of day, so that it becomes a habit that affirm to your body and mind that something is true. To do this, simply identify what you’re lacking in your life, construct a powerful phrase that affirms it’s already true (such as ‘I let money flow to me freely and easily’), and repeat daily.
If you’re stuck (as I was when wanted to know what to do about my chronic back pains) check out Louise Hay’s Heal Your Body app, which will give you some fantastic starting points. I’ve been repeating the money affirmations for years and they have been a tremendous help to me.
The secret to a healthy body is a healthy mind
The body is a complicated place, and there may be more going on that you need to consider when taking action to heal yourself. But if you consider not only how you treat your body but also how you treat your mind by paying attention to your thoughts and the patterns of negative emotions that play out in your life, you could find yourself experiencing a dramatic shift in your energy levels, your pain management, and your overall quality of life.
Featured photo credit: Ashley Rose (needs to be credited) via flickr.com