In an earlier post about using affirmations I described how I believe that our thoughts can influence the underlying intelligence that directs our bodily functions. The idea is that our thoughts can communicate with the physical biochemistry of our cells. The most important thing to note is that our biochemical messengers live in the here and now; there is no past or future at a physiological level. The way we are thinking in a moment can affect the way our cells react in that moment.
When we are unwell and find ourselves paying a lot of attention to how bad we’re feeling, we may actually be communicating a message that reinforces ‘unwellness’ at a cellular level. It also concerns me that when we are not believed and have to spend a lot of energy convincing others that there is something seriously wrong with us, we are unwittingly giving our body a command to be ‘something seriously wrong’.
Using possessive language to describe the symptoms or condition may also reinforce the belonging of this state. When I use the term ‘my illness’, could I actually be giving my body a physiological message of the correctness/belonging of the illness state? When I complain that ‘my headache is worse today’ am I subtly contributing a reinforcing massage to this headache state?
I’ve had a couple of frustrating weeks making very slow progress recovering from a ‘viral crash’. I’ve regularly reflected miserably on the fact that today I’m no better than yesterday and I wonder how much these kinds of thoughts have been hindering my recovery. Usually I pay quite a bit of attention to things that I hope are helping me heal. But this week I’ve had so little energy I’ve even dropped a lot of my self-help practices. I’ve been trying to patiently wait to get better, but maybe I’ve been lacking the trust that I am.
Today I resolve to stop owning my symptoms and disease. I will refer to ‘this headache’ rather than ‘my headache’ and ‘this condition’ rather than ‘my condition’. I resolve to keep in my awareness the fact that my body is doing everything it can to overcome this illness, every time I find myself thinking about it. When I’m feeling frustrated by slow progress, I resolve to congratulate myself on that small amount of progress and celebrate any improvement of symptoms. I remind myself to trust that my body is doing its best for me and that one day it will find the way!
It might take a bit of practise. First, I need to catch myself thinking in a way that might not be so helpful, but I know I can replace those thoughts when I do. I choose to give my body an unambiguous message that a return to health is what I expect it to be working on!
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