Have you ever been asked if you’re feeling sick, and even though you were feeling fine you start to experience nausea or a sore throat? I think similar things have happened to a lot of us. Some of them negative, and some of them positive.
As someone with anxiety, a lot of the time I can think myself into a panic, or have something like a stomach ache which I spurn into an elaborate story about having cancer or ulcers and take myself to the hospital to sit for hours and have them tell me “You’re fine, we can’t find anything.”
This isn’t an everyday, or even common occurrence for me, but it is something that I have experienced enough that it impacts my life. These things are called psychosomatic – when your brain can make something happen physically in your body.
There are lots of things that this affects, and I think most people focus on the negative. When you can convince yourself you are sick, tired, panicked, unable to succeed, not good enough. These feelings that we believe become the truth in our bodies and in our lives.
So, psychosomatic instances get a bad wrap. But I think there are a lot of positive things that can happen because of this ability we have, yet we give the positive a bad wrap too. Calling things like meditation and yoga hoaxes.
Sure, it may be true that if you don’t believe in the power of these things that they aren’t going to work for you. Why would they? If the power you need to harness from them is ingrained in the belief of them, then that affects things. But lets think for a moment, how nice it would be if you did envision that your breath was sucking out stiffness and breathing life into your limbs during yoga? If you could get a high feeling just from listening to a guided meditation?
Why are we so quick to jump on the negative aspects of things as true, and the positives as untrue.
I didn’t believe that meditation was a powerful tool. I truly believed that I didn’t have the mental capacity to sit in silence and bat away the thoughts that came into my mind. I was curious though, so I went to youtube and tried a guided meditation. After 20 minutes, my muscles were looser than they have been in years; I felt high, like I was floating. And I was genuinely happy. Not in a way where a good thing happens and I feel joy, or gratitude after observing all the good I have in my life. It was a sensation I hadn’t felt since I was a child. That regardless of everything I felt like laughing, like I didn’t have burdens.
So even if all that was in my head, why is it less valuable? I got more out of that experience than I did any hospital trips.
Another example was from yoga. It is said that the hips hold emotion. After weeks into starting up my regular practice again, and after a fairly turmolic summer/fall, I wasn’t feeling any give in my hips. They were tight and sore. I was crying during every practice – just a few tears of release – but nothing substantial. One day we did quite a severe hip opener and after my practice I curled up and cried hard for 15 minutes. Sobbed. Wept. Blubbered like a fish out of water. I felt better – as we all do after a good cry – and the next day going into my practice I got inches deeper into my lunge. I don’t know what I had released, but whatever it was was literally holding my body back.
My point is, it doesn’t harm you to believe in something. It can actually be greatly beneficial to open yourself up to something that may seem like a hoax. It may feel silly to sit with headphones on and your eyes closed listening to a soothing voice and ocean waves, but what do you have to lose from trying?
There are so many wonderful things within our reach, the only sacrifice we have to give is belief. That doesn’t seem so hard in the scale of things.
Written by Forest Greenwell
Disclaimer: this does not apply to things like facts. Global Warming is real, there is no alternative to that truth no matter what you believe in.