In this wonderful body of yours every cell of physical matter carries with it and is affected by every thought, emotion, attitude, and assumption that you form in your mind. Visceral responses take place in your body as a result of emotional reactions or thoughts in your mind. Yes, all your cells are very intelligently ‘connected’. Consider for a moment – you feel sad and your body produces tears; a situation at work becomes inflamed and stressful and your body responds by developing ulcers, you watch an inspirational video clip and you get goose bumps. The strength of the visceral response your body has to the daily events in your life is simply amazing. These are examples of responses you might notice quite clearly – but what about all the responses we don’t even pay attention to?
Recent scientific studies tested out this ‘connection’ in the cells of the body and found some mind-boggling results. The US army and the Institute of HeartMath carried out experiments in which they separated samples of DNA from the DNA donors (some DNA samples were removed as far as 350 miles from the donors). They then got the donor to experience various emotions by watching a series of video images. The researchers observed both the responses of the donors and the DNA electrically and through microscopes and found that the reactions of the DNA coincided with that of the donors, at exactly the same time as when the donor experienced emotions: the double helix spiral of the DNA contracted exactly at the same time as when the donor experienced negative emotions such as anger, sadness or fear, and some DNA codes even switched off. When the emotions in the donor were positive, the DNA strands relaxed and lengthened. It is no wonder then that the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) has firmly established a scientific link the between stress and almost every other major disease – including allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, and strokes. Remember that stress is our own response to our environment. It comes about because of what we think and feel about our external circumstances….our body responds with major diseases if our perception of our environment causes too much stress, fear, anger and anxiety.
So in short – our cells, our bodies and our DNA are significantly affected and altered – possibly even shut down by our thoughts, feelings and emotions. Because we choose our thoughts and emotions, what we choose to think and feel determines the health of our physical body. When we think negative thoughts, feel consistently unhappy, sad, alone, deprived, exhausted and stressed – our body responds by getting ill. Our body is communicating with us – telling us that something has to change.
Knowing that you create your own illness or dis-ease can be a scary concept, but it can also be very empowering. If it is true that we can make ourselves sick with negative emotions, stress, and unhelpful thought patterns, it is also true that we can prevent illness and heal ourselves with positivity, love and kindness.
Your body is always communicating with you. Symptoms, therefore, are not just irritants to get rid of with paracetamol or antibiotics or surgery or chemotherapy. They are messages that you need to learn to understand. When you get sick, ask yourself: “what is out of balance which my body needs to draw my attention to?” Modern medicine does wonders in curing diseases – but healing comes only when you have addressed the symptom as well as the source. Your body created the illness as a helpful message to you – the more serious the illness, the more urgent the message.
You can see the value of being able to understand your body’s messages, right?
Here is how to develop your connection with your body and become super sensitive to those helpful messages being communicated to you:
- Listen to your body. Your body gives you very early warning of situations, people, circumstances that evoke stress or tension in you. Notice how your body reacts in certain situations – when you get a sense of contraction in your stomach, in your throat, when you feel your breathing becomes tense or laboured other than because of physical exertion, you may start off by just noticing discomfort. Notice tension in your jaw, your hands, your back and shoulders. What exactly is it that evokes this response in your body? What can you do to alleviate the tension? Can you soften and beautify your response to it or do you need to walk away from this for good?
- Look after your body. Refuel with the goodness from nature to keep it healthy, firing, active, and alert. Your body is your health watchdog – but if it’s constantly bogged down trying to deal with the dirty fuel you choose to fill it up on, it will have difficulty communicating about more subtle issues. Love your beautiful body and nourish it with both the kind of food and the positive attitude you would feed the people you love most. Remember – just as your mind/thoughts impact the cells in your body, so too do the cells in your body influence your mind. You have a better chance at positively engaging your thoughts and attitudes if your body is firing on all cylinders.
- Choose to create positive thoughts and responses to the outside world. It really is that simple…. it may not be easy, but it’s that simple. You’re only a victim of your circumstances when you don’t choose to respond from a positive perspective.
- Yoga and meditation are surefire ways of learning to connect to and love your body in a deep and profound way. It also relieves stress, improves focus and awareness (so you can pick up on those subtle messages) and teaches you about yourself and how you respond to triggers in your life. Give it a try and reap the rewards that millions around the world do already.
Get in touch with Tanya to discuss how Yoga can contribute to your health and wellness