I want to tell you a story from my life about 4 years ago.
It was January 2012, and I was in Maui on vacation with friends. One day I woke up and was in quite a bit of pain. My joints hurt – a lot! My ankles were swollen, and I couldn’t lift my arms high enough to tie my bikini top around my neck.
I thought I was having a reaction to come antibiotics I was taking.
A few days later when I returned home to Canada, I went to the doctor. They ran all sorts of tests and told me “nothing is wrong with you”.
For the next 6 months, I endured terrible pain and inflammation in all of my joints. Some days, it hurt so much to walk (to put pressure on my feet).
I tried soaking in Epsom salts. I did acupuncture. I did magnetic therapy. I took tinctures from the Naturopath. I spent thousands of dollars trying to cure myself.
Then, in June of 2012, I decided to try hypnotherapy. (The session lasted about an hour and cost me only $125.00.)
At one point during the session the hypnotherapist asked me to place anything that I needed to let go of in a trunk (the chest/box kind – not the car kind).
My ex-husband immediately flashed into my brain. I felt guilty for hurting him.
(We had been separated for 7 years, divorced for 6 years by this point in time. He was living in another country, had re-married and was not thinking about me at all I’m sure! Plus, I must mention that our split was very amicable. We lived together for 3 months after – until our house sold and had remained friends.)
Hypnotized, but still aware of what was going on/my thoughts, I was shocked! I wasn’t consciously thinking about him in my daily life, and yet, here he was popping up during this session.
Intuitively, I knew it made sense. I knew (without consciously acknowledging) that I had been holding onto this guilt.
But where did the guilt come from? (Since my ex and I had discussed our separation and remained friends after all…)
Well, it came in the form of a friend of mine. She always had something to say about my divorce. “But he was such a nice guy.” “You gave up.” “You should have worked on it.” “You could have tried harder to make things work.” A part of me bought into everything she said, and I didn’t speak up for myself and tell her to mind her own business. (Or even perhaps “You should focus on your own marriage.”)
I silently told myself that I was a bad person. A selfish person. An impatient person. A picky person. An unlovable person. And I never told anyone how I felt – until the physical pain forced me to.
And this, my friend, is the mind-body connection.
All the thoughts and feelings we have that go unprocessed will remain in the body, and they will eventually cause illness if not dealt with.
You can’t stuff your emotions and not have consequences.
It might look like joint pain and inflammation. Or anxiety. Or depression. Or arthritis. Or a rash. Or insomnia. Or weight issues. Or cancer. The list is long.
I’m not saying your thoughts and emotions cause all illness. There are environmental factors. It could be the food we eat. It could be genetics.
I am saying, however, that your mental and emotional well-being definitely plays a part in your physical well-being. What you are thinking can absolutely affect how you feel physically. (Just think of when something happens that makes you happy vs something that happens which makes you sad or angry. You can FEEL that difference in your body. A lot of people would say they feel light when they’re happy vs heavy when sad or tense when angry.)
If you want to read more about how your thoughts can affect your health, the best reference I can suggest for you is the book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ by Louise Hay.
Oh – and about that joint pain I had been dealing with… I woke up the day after my hypnotherapy session, free of the pain and inflammation! And it’s never come back!
Your body hears everything the mind says. Stay positive!