This post is a follow up from last month’s Mental “Health Food” that raised the question: Why don’t we apply the same standards and value for filtering out unhealthy thoughts, as we do for filtering out unhealthy foods? I find many people logically understand that if they eat something unhealthy they get that it will make them feel awful, and therefore avoid eating foods with undesirable consequences. Yet, this same logic is not equally applied to filtering out unhealthy thoughts which make an individual feel awful. If you wouldn’t eat stress inducing foods all day long, than why would you allow yourself to sip on the “I’m not good enough, “or “I am bitter and angry, it’s not fair” Stress-Slurpee all day long? Unhealthy mental and emotional states equally create stress in the body, just as a harmful diet can – both equally wear and tear the body down day after day, year after year with undesirable consequences.
If you are truly looking to be healthy you don’t want to minimize, numb out, ignore, or try to overpower your mental and emotional health by focusing solely on your diet and exercise. As a human being you FEEL and THINK all day long – so your mental and emotional well-being is an essential component in your total health.
“I’ve come to believe that virtually all illness, if not psychosomatic in foundation, has a definite psychosomatic (mind-body-emotion) component. Recent technology innovations have allowed us to examine the molecular basis of the emotions, and to begin to understand how the molecules of our emotions share intimate connections with our health and are indeed inseparable from our physiology.” – Neuroscientist Candace Pert
In this post we are going to explore why it is difficult to simply muscle mind yourself into only thinking healthy thoughts and editing out stress-inducing ones. If you find yourself struggling to stop negative emotions and thoughts, and are running a daily internal dialogue that causes anxiety, anger, stress, depression, or other health problems etc… please don’t beat yourself up. It is not easy to just stop stressful emotions and thoughts on a dime. Why? Because hot-blooded thoughts often have Achilles Heel triggers attached to them, and these triggers are not easily undone because what birthed them and sustains them are unresolved memories of traumatic and/or repetitive stressful events that contain an enormous amount of trapped stress and emotion within them. These triggers are fully loaded and powerful, which invariably can bind an individual to the past imprisoning him/her to that stress. Left unresolved Achilles Heel triggers grow more and more sensitive over time causing increased stress that often leads to physical symptoms in the body.
To understand why these Achilles Heel emotional and mental triggers are so powerful picture a large reservoir of water in your mind say the Hoover Damn. Behind the dam is an amazing amount of pressure. The reservoir took time to fill up, but overtime the pressure began to build and once full the force behind the dam grew to be enormous. Achilles Heel triggers are like a dam, they have an accumulation of trapped emotional kinetic energy behind them, and once triggered an overwhelming amount of emotions and strewing mental tangents gets released inside an individual – temporarily overtaking an individual’s logical, reasoning mind. Have you ever gotten triggered and had your emotions completely take you over causing you to react in the heat of the moment? Have you ever felt an illogical response rise within yourself because of how someone or something triggered you? If you are human you should be nodding your head yes…that is unless you happen to come from planet Vulcan!
Actually, I totally agree with Spock; emotions are definitely illogical. Buuuuut, I would like to equally surmise that your emotions are incredibly meaningful; they induce beautiful shades of color and depth within the experience of your life, while also playing an essential role in being a biological feedback system providing crucial information to your conscious awareness. Emotions impart a momentous gift with a great deal to teach you about yourself as they alert you to what repressed stress patterns require your immediate attention. As an empowered individual your aim is to recognize that your emotions are incredibly powerful, but in the same breath to know you don’t have to be ruled by them – your emotions are not the WHOLE of who you are. Within you is a much wiser, poised and powerful source of self-healing consciousness to tap into.
I like to think of it like this: your Lower Mind registers the problem, feels the emotions, has hot-blooded thoughts about people and circumstances, and then these biological indicators act as important signals requiring higher levels of thought, perception, questioning, and discovering solutions to your problems. This elevates you to the realm of your Higher Mind. Each of us has a Higher Mind; it is your inner-sage and inner-healer that can resolve and self-heal the stress within your pain. If you resolve your pain by learning, growing and evolving through it, your pain suddenly becomes fuel for your life rather than chains that hold you back. This art of transformation is accessible within every person thanks to the Higher Mind. If you have the ability to think low level perceptions and ordinary thoughts, then of course you can rise to a higher perception where self-healing and wisdom resides.
Emotions and hot-blooded thoughts are powerful and biologically sensitive for a reason. For instance, let’s say growing up you had a parent who was incredibly hard on you. Perhaps you were criticized all the time – nothing you did was ever good enough, nor did you measure up to his/her incredibly high standards, whether it was grades, sports, needing to have a clean perfect room, or perfect outer appearance, etc. Or perhaps, you grew up where one or more parents had a violent temper, mental health challenges, was physically abusive, or had substance abuse problems. You never felt fully safe and secure growing up. Other traumas could be the death of a parent, divorce, mom or dad losing a job, or having to move to a new school, state or country. Or perhaps you grew up being bullied by peers, or everyone else seemed wealthy while you lived on the wrong side of the tracks.
To a sensitive developing psyche these experiences create stress patterns and triggers when left unresolved over several decades can easily develop into physical symptoms in the body such as:
- Anger Issues
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Digestive Issues
- Bladder Infections
- Conflicts in Relationships
- Weight Issues
- Back Pain, etc.
The body and mind are not separate, which is why specific forms of stress lead to specific forms of disease in the body. The body and psyche were separated out in the 17th century when Rene Decartes, the founding father of medicine, made a necessary deal with the church to grant him legal permission to dissect cadavers if it was agreed that the human body was separate from the mind, emotions, and spirit. Ever since then the human being in the Western world has been predominantly divided into two separate spheres that are never supposed to overlap. Makes logical sense right? When you are nervous you experience that as an intellectual concept floating next to yourself, right? Right? Never in your stomach!
Let’s say you struggle with a daily self-ridiculing inner dialogue. You constantly beat yourself up. You believe you have to figure out how to make everything work, that you have to do things perfectly, that you can’t make mistakes, that you need to say the right things in social settings and do perfect and amazing work, or be a perfect parent…..
Where does this inner dialogue come from? Why are you so hard on yourself? Did you pop out of the womb feeling this way about yourself, or did you grow up in an environment where you were at the receiving end of a lot of criticism or bullying? The point is: logically we know we can’t be perfect, but internally we have a deep guttural fear of messing up or failing. Sure there is a lot of social pressure to succeed, but the deep underlying need, fear, or anger comes from something much more personal.
Get curious and create a healthy detachment for a moment – what is your Achilles trigger? What sets you off on a mental and emotional tangent? What is a daily or weekly emotional and mental charge that you feel RUN by?
Chances are unless you are from planet Vulcan you’ve got one. If you have questions I will do my best to answer them below.
Bella Dodds is a Integrative Health Coach. She uses advanced methodologies that allow her clients to get to the core root of stress creating disharmony in their physiology and psychology. You can contact Bella for a 15 minute complimentary consultation to discuss areas of in your life you would like to improve using her Higher Mind Health methods. Bella works nationally and internationally via phone or Skype. To set up a consult click HERE. Serious inquiries only please.