by Danielle Fagan |
We’ve all been there. We wake up, look at the clock and roll over for five more minutes of sleep. You eyelids feel heavy, your head feels heavy and your body feels like it’s made out of lead. To some people, this is what every morning feels like, a struggle. Some have felt that way for so long that they forget what it’s like to jump out of bed, excited for the day’s events. Feeling like deadweight in the morning becomes the norm.
If you don’t have the energy to wake up in the morning, it often means that the energy you gained while sleeping was spent elsewhere. The Chinese say, “Chi follows Yi.” That means life force (chi) energy flows in the direction that the mind (Yi) takes it. This is an important concept to grasp. Your body is comprised of pure potentiality. That potential energy moves in whatever direction the subconscious or conscious mind takes it.
This means that when you’re focused on thoughts or actions that make you feel good, your body feels good. But when you focus on thoughts and actions that make you feel stressed, the body feels strained, weakened. Chi follows Yi. There is now scientific research that explores the mind-body connection a bit further by examining how exactly stress causes disease in the body.
The Link Between Stress & Disease
In 2012, Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, studied how stress ultimately causes and progresses disease. There has been a known link for many years but this study helped to clarify exactly how one causes the other. They found for the first time that psychological stress interferes with the body’s own ability to regulate inflammation which in turn, promotes the development and progression of disease.
“Inflammation is partly regulated by the hormone cortisol and when cortisol is not allowed to serve this function, inflammation can get out of control,” said Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty Professor of Psychology within CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Cohen argued that prolonged stress alters the effectiveness of cortisol to regulate the inflammatory response because it decreases tissue sensitivity to the hormone. Specifically, immune cells become insensitive to cortisol’s regulatory effect. In turn, runaway inflammation is thought to promote the development and progression of many diseases.”
This is incredible information that helps us to connect the mind and the body and to understand its relationship further. This research proves that psychological stress of any kind will drop the body’s ability to control inflammation and ultimately to stay healthy. This places quite a bit of emphasis on the mind. It becomes the starting point of all disease but it is also the starting point of well-being.
Keeping the mind in a healthy place, means keeping the body healthy. So do whatever you need to do to keep your mind in a positive space. Visit with friends, eat right, watch funny movies, dance, sing, paint, go for a walk etc. Change your thoughts, change your body, change your reality.
How Will You Use Your Energy?
Look at your energy as something you choose to spend or invest everyday. When you spend, you receive less or no value in return. When you invest, you receive equal or greater value in return. So when you spend your energy on something that is negative, your body feels negative and a negative emotion is produced. When you invest your energy into something positive, you feel great physically and emotionally because you’ve received a great return on your investment.
Over time you will eventually produce energy “debt” or “surplus” based on your spending and investing habits. If you are in energy debt (which we all have been in at some point), you feel tired, weak, unhappy and unhealthy. When you’re in energy surplus, your body becomes more powerful (its inflammatory response is healthy), your emotions are mostly positive, and you have more energy.
We can definitely all use this information to keep our bodies and minds in a healthy place. But how could we apply this to physical conditions we are currently experiencing?
Let’s look at how you’re feeling today. What physical condition do you complain about most? Think of one issue that could be improved upon. Now think back to when it first arose. What kind of stress were you experiencing at the time? What life events occurred around the time when you first felt those symptoms? Can you find the mind-body link? Perhaps by changing our perception on those events, like by letting go of anger or forgiving another, we can also let go of pain within the body.
For those that are interested in taking a change in perception a bit further, here is a video on a technique called “EFT” or “Emotional Freedom Technique” that was created to assist people in releasing emotional pain. I have personally found a lot of success using this method and use it frequently in my sessions with clients. Try using it on the physical condition you thought of earlier.
Leave a comment below on your experience with “EFT” or if you’ve noticed a connection between your own thoughts and physical symptoms.
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