How we feel about ourselves influences our immune system. Candace Pert (Molecules of Emotion) and many researchers since have uncovered physiological mechanisms in our bodies that influence how we feel and how effectively we can fight off and recover from illness.
Hopelessness, anger, frustration, regret, resentment, and any emotion that brings the spirit down depress the glucose available to our cells and contribute to the exhaustion, mental fog, lack of interest in life, and inability to make decisions that characterize depression.
When depressed people change how they speak about their situations, to themselves and the world, they take proactive steps to change, not just the feeing state, but how their bodies respond biologically.
Change your thoughts, change your life is a mantra for healers of all stripes.
We know this. The critical question is, do we do it?
Do we seek within ourselves for the messages that got stuck in our brains and repeated the same negative programming over and over until we believed it?
It’s hard to do, yes, until you do it enough to acquire a knack for how it works. Then, it becomes a game. Ferreting out negative, unhelpful ideas and changing them is a critical step on the way to health and wholeness.
Not until you know what negative messages you’re sending yourself can you begin to change them.
Changing negative messages requires that you say things to yourself you may not believe are true.
- I enjoy perfect health.
- I have everything I need to be happy.
- I am loved and love in return.
- Every day, I am healing my ______________
These seemingly contradictory statements, spoken aloud or mentally, can change how the body functions. Healers have always known this. Now physiological researchers are finding the mechanisms that explain why.
At first, it may feel silly to say things to yourself that are not “true,” but in fact the body does not know the difference between “true” and “false.” It responds to all messages, so why not give it something that will perk it up? This can be easier to understand if you think of messages like,
I am a person worthy of respect.
For someone told in childhood that they were not worthy, the shift can be lifechanging. And isn’t everyone worthy of respect?
Recently, I was reminded of how vehement some folks are about giving others what they call “false hope.” They think it’s worse to try and fail than not to try at all.
Now, I’m not talking about telling people without a high school education they can obtain an executive position by taking an online course on management. Or, making inaccurate claims for expensive and bogus “cures” for diseases. Or products that promise easy weight loss with no change in diet or exercise. These are schemes offered by manipulative and reprehensible people who will do anything for money. Of course, we should beware their ilk.
I mean those who discourage family and friends from using complementary healing methods in addition to traditional medical ones. Adding acupuncture, massage, herbs, therapy, energy healing and other modalities can help change a patient’s attitude and feelings of self-worth which allows their bodies to marshal the natural healing mechanisms we all have within us.
A less tense, less frightened patient will have a stronger immune response we well as more energy to make lifestyle changes to support her health.
- Attitude counts.
- Faith counts.
- Hope counts.
For myself, I am working on pulling down some of the walls of my comfort zone. I want to have hope that I can change my life. Lose a little more weight. Publish more stories. Write that nonfiction book that terrifies me. Not that hope is enough. I also need time, energy, a plan, resources, support, and confidence, even if I have to prop it up with a two by four.
But first, I have to believe it’s possible. Not every minute. Not even every day. But enough to keep me plugging away.