What makes us sick, and who, or what, can make us well?
In a very real sense, our thoughts and emotions hold the key.
Think about it—when you suppress your guilt, shame, anger, resentment, and other negative emotions… can they make you sick? Recent medical findings overwhelmingly conclude that in fact, they do.
We now know beyond a shadow of doubt that toxic emotions significantly compromise immune function, the internal defense system that helps to protect us from premature aging and disease.
This is the mind-body connection in action. It’s a natural phenomenon that surprisingly, many people still cannot grasp. Yet studies continue to prove that what you think and feel very definitely impacts your health, especially when what you think and feel causes stress.
Today, stress and stress-related illnesses account for the overwhelming majority of complaints that patients in the U.S. report to their doctors. Here’s an example you may be familiar with:
Studies show that mental stress can disrupt the normal function of the human digestive system. Mental and emotional stress can create loss of appetite or ravenous eating binges, and alter the proper absorption of nutrients. Mental stress is also cited as causing a host of problems with elimination and excretion of waste.
This is hard evidence that mental stress causes symptoms in the physical body. Is there anyone reading this post who is still unsure about that?
Your doctor knows that alleviating the mental stress that causes the problems will usually result in restoration of proper bodily function. The doctor often prescribes medications for treatment, but there are other options available, and many without harmful side-effects.
For example, moderate exercise goes a long way toward neutralizing the havoc that troubling emotions wreak on your health and longevity. There are also a variety of easy mind-body techniques and self-treatments you can use to help heal your body and add years to your life.
The incredible thing is, you don’t have to know how the mind-body connection works to get great results. Think of it this way: you don’t need to know how to manufacture a Ferrari to start one up and drive it away, do you?
The automobile—your body—has been designed and built to function smoothly. Your job is to get into the driver’s seat and steer your body toward wellness.
Again, you don’t need to understand the mind-body connection to use it productively. Consider this: how does your body digest and assimilate what you eat and then eliminate the waste without you even knowing how it works?
The answer is that you don’t have to know because the work is done by an instinctive “inner intelligence.” Call it what you want—nature, instinct, higher awareness—it’s there right now, directing your bodily functions without you paying any attention to it.
But what’s fascinating is that your inner intelligence pays close attention to you. It constantly responds to your thoughts and emotions, and for better or worse, you are communicating with it all the time.
Let’s use this information to get a better understanding of what healing is. Your inner intelligence directs a complex healing system that constantly moves you into balance with the environment. It is beautifully designed to take you in the direction of proper bodily function, tissue repair and rejuvenation, regardless of your circumstances.
For instance, if you cut your finger, you can watch as the wound seals itself back together over time, without you having to do anything at all. It’s a routine job for the healing intelligence within you. This remarkable asset is ever vigilant, always at work in you and through you regardless of the medical treatments you take.
A fundamental tool of survival, the mechanism we call “healing” exists in all forms of life on the planet, both plant and animal. By looking at the healing essence from this perspective, you open yourself to a larger and richer concept of what true and total healing really means.
Drop your limiting beliefs, expand your awareness and begin to think of the healing essence within you as a form of higher consciousness. It’s an inner intelligence that literally watches over you with an intention of good health and wellness.
It’s the spirit that directs an incredibly complex and delicate balance of the physical and subtle energy systems in your body that maintain intricate relationships with each other and work together for the greater good of the whole organism—you.
Now let’s capitalize on this information. Your part in directing the mind-body connection for positive results is first to determine what outcome you’d like to experience. Then you will learn to believe and behave in accordance with that outcome, and observe with confidence as the body follows the mind.
Let’s begin by meditating on this quote from Norman Cousins, the famous writer who healed from Ankylosing Spondylitis: “The personal belief system is often the activator for the healing system.”
You’d better believe it.