Lessons from the Darkness: Mind and body alignment can help you live in hope rather than fear.
Perhaps the most despicable trick that chronic illness plays is to convince us that we’ll be ill forever. Constant pain, migraines, brain fog, anxiety, swollen joints, and never-ending doctor’s office visits can steal your hope. It’s a pernicious spiral that can lead you to forget that your body is designed to heal. Research indicates it can lead to depression. Losing hope can foster lifestyle changes that keep you unhealthy.
I’ll discuss healing with intention and the power of the mind in a separate blog. The core point here is that (1) body mind alignment is critically important and (2) believing in your ability to get well is a powerful force. The subtle shift from fear (constantly thinking “I’m sick”) to hope (“I’m getting better”) is one of the most important steps you can take in the process of healing.
Lesson two from the darkness: Live in hope not fear.
Pursue Health: Mind and Body Alignment in Healing
Your body wants to heal. Help it. Shift your focus from physical symptoms to body systems. All your body systems are interrelated. When you dedicate yourself to optimizing the function of each body system, you’re taking a positive step each and every day.
Improve your liver function (swap your daily cup of tea for a cup of Phyllanthus niruri), and you improve your digestion. Improve your digestion, and you’ll extract more nutrients from the food you’re eating. Improve your nutrition, and your integumentary (skin and hair) will be healthier. I can go on and on, but you get the picture.
See Yourself Getting Better: Visualization as an Aid
Speaking of pictures, guided imagery or visualization can be a powerful tool to kick-start or amp up the healing process. Your body and mind are connected. Visualization is not merely fantasizing or day dreaming. Instead, it involves creating clear mental images of every step of healing process.
The practice of guided imagery includes creating a detailed schema of what one desires and then visualizing it over and over again. Visualization can be helpful in activating the immune system, setting better eating habits, reducing stress or anxiety, and managing pain.
Positive Feedback Loop: an Integrative Approach to Mind and Body Alignment
Now think even bigger. Taking a holistic life approach to wellness is a fundamental principle of integrative medicine and herbalism. Such an approach opens up avenues for health and provides a plethora of near-term goals that can reinforce the healing mindset. Better, more nutritious eating, check. Getting better sleep, check. Exercising to whatever level is possible, check.
You see the pattern. Each healthy achievement is one step out of the darkness. And every step out of the darkness is a step toward the light of being well.