As a holistic nutritionist I often speak about nutrition. Though nutrition is definitely the cornerstone of optimal health it isn’t everything.
We are so much more than physical beings and we must look at how all aspects of our life affect us – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for true healing to take place.
Science has begun to recognize the powerful impact that emotional and behavioral factors can have on our health. Our thoughts, beliefs that we hold and our emotions can impact what is happening in our body. This is often referred to as the psycho-spiritual connection or mind-body connection.
The body feels emotion
You have no doubt experienced this. Have you ever experienced a feeling of butterflies in the pit of your stomach when you are nervous or a headache when you are stressed. These are physical manifestations of your emotions.
The problem lies with unresolved emotions at a deeper level. If you have ever been deeply hurt by someone, or experienced stressful and traumatic events such as a divorce or loss of a loved one you understand what I am talking about.
These can leave deep feelings of hurt, betrayal, anger, sadness, and grief. For most of us we continue on with our lives thinking we have “dealt” with these emotions and moved on.
But unfortunately that is most often not the case. We oftentimes will keep going over and over in our minds and re-living these events which indicates that we have not truly laid them to rest. This is quite common in fact, because we were never taught how to deal with these emotions and release them in a healthy way or the consequences of not.
How can our emotions affect our physical body?
Often times our past experiences may be holding us back from moving forward on a subconscious level. We all experience this throughout our lives and it can affect us to varying degrees depending on how – or if – we deal with these experiences. We all have our tipping point, so it may seem like some are not affected, but it always catches up at some point…
Throughout life we go through experiences that are sometimes quite painful and stressful. If we pay close attention, often times there is a life lesson in these experiences. Yes, even the unpleasant and painful ones can teach us valuable lessons even though it may not seem obvious to us at the time.
As we continue going through life with its daily demands we tend to suppress many of the emotions that accompany these life experiences.
The consequences of unresolved emotions
These unresolved and unexpressed emotions are stored at a cellular level in our body and periodically, triggers ‘happen’ to bring these emotions back to the surface, and we may briefly re-live and feel the associated emotion, such as, fear, anger or sadness, etc… Until yet again, we suppress them thinking that we are protecting ourselves.
In fact we are doing ourselves much harm and injustice by not honoring our feelings, and consequently setting the stage for illness and disease.
For example, according to Louise Hays book- “You Can Heal Your Life” the emotional connection to physical imbalances in the following areas are:
- liver: Is associated with unexpressed anger
- gallstones: Hard thoughts. Condemning. Pride.
- diabetes: Longing for what might have been. a great need to control. deep sorrow. no sweetness left.
- constipation: Fear of letting go. holding on to the past
- colitis: Insecurity – represents the ease of letting go of that which is over
- cholesterol: Fear of accepting joy
So, as you can see there is often an emotional connection to the physical body. This of course happens at a subconscious level. But bringing awareness to this, helps us choose differently.
What you can do?
Make the choice to release any thoughts and patterns that do not serve your highest good. Create positive affirmations and repeat them daily. Yes even if you don’t initially believe them or believe they can help. Don’t underestimate the power of your thoughts and reprogramming with positive affirmations. Fake it until you make it!
It’s important to find a constructive outlet for releasing these emotions, and that can be different for everyone. Here are some ideas in addition to affirmations:
- Journaling or letter writing to express and release emotions (very powerful)
- Guided imagery CD
- Gratitude journal to help re-focus on the positives in our life (which are all too easy to forget)
- Positive affirmations
The point is, we must find a way to process, release and move on to fully experience joy, gratitude, happiness, optimal health and freedom.
The key is for us to honor and acknowledge these feelings, without dwelling on them. Life happens, and it sometimes sucks BIG TIME, and sometimes feels like it doesn’t even make sense!
But we have the choice to free ourselves once we become conscious of this. Every day is a new day to begin again. In every situation that we face, we have the choice of how we react and how we choose to process it. The choice and the power is ours!
Our life experiences shape who we are, but we are responsible for who we become