What we are thinking directly affects our body, our entire body, all the way down to the tiniest atom we are made of. The mind/body are connected as one. In other words, a direct inner and outer feedback loop exists between the mind/body. So what we think, actually affects us on a physical level. It affects our health, what our body looks and feels like-inside and out.
When you are thinking a stressful thought in your mind, your body will react to that thought no matter if the stressful situation is happening(real) or just being imagined in your mind.(not real) There is no difference between the mind/body so both the 'real' stress and 'not real' stress will still affect your body in the same way.
That is why staying in the present moment is so important. Because in the now..the mind/body can be more aware of what is actually happening and what is just a fear of the future happening. In the moment, it is easier to stay at peace and relaxed in your mind and thus your body will then feel more relaxed and at peace.
I first learned of this mind/body medicine years ago by reading about a field of scientific study called Psychoneuroimmunology. In this field of medicine studies show how our thinking affects our entire body, by breaking the processes down in the brain and the link between disease and thought patterns. This is mind/body medicine study of our human nature. Deepak Chopra is one pioneer in this field of medicine and a pioneer in helping people heal and stay healthy.
I was really intrigued and started studying it more deeply. I began to learn how thoughts are broken down into chemical processes and deeply linked to how our body operates. Those chemical processed break down into what our mind/body is made of pure divine energy. This opened my eyes and my heart.
For some people studying the physiology of the body is boring. For me it is heaven because I have come to learn about what amazing creations we all are down to the tiniest little atom.
Some chemical processes(thoughts) are healthy for our entire mind/body system and some are not. The unhappy emotional states, or negative thoughts like stress, fear, depression, anger, resentment and sorrow produce more pain in the body because they activate chemical processes within us that break our mind/body down.
It can be a cycle of stress/pain looping around on itself all the time. These emotional states also produce weakened immune system. This is where we are more open to disease, disorders and sickness. Plus our muscles are just more tight and tense too.
The other side of this is that happy emotional states or positive thoughts like, gratitude, love, acceptance, compassion peace produce more relaxed states of the body. States of the mind/body like relaxed muscles, healthier immune systems...and healing from disease or sickness. Or never getting sick at all. It is easy to
notice people like this because they seem to have a healthier glow about them.
Like I said there is scientific evidence for all this. Plus I have had direct experience of this in my own mind/body. Also, I have seen it in my clients during the many years I have been a mind/body medicine practitioner. I bet if you really started to look in your life and feel deeply into your own body, you could start to notice how your thoughts affect what your body is looking like and feeling like all the time.
When I initially became more aware I would begin to notice how my own body was deeply affected by my thought processes. How my being angry made my heart hurt or shoulders hurt. How when I was stressing out, my neck would hurt. As I started practicing yoga and meditation and becoming more calm, my body started to change and I was in pain much less. But the real shift in me came when I became aware of my thoughts being directly linked to my body, my muscles, my tissues on a moment to moment basis. So I started combining this awareness with watching my thoughts to see how just a thought w0uld affect tightness in my body. I began focusing more on creating positive thoughts in my mind all the time, not just during my yoga class or meditations.
If I was stressing I would become even more focused on a positive, happy thought in the moment. As I did this I would notice almost instantly how my tense muscles would relax, my breath would become easier and I would just feel better. I also noticed how my mind/body was shifting into an almost constant state of ease and comfort. The mind/body loop in full effect!
As I was noticing in my own life I was also noticing it in the mind and bodies my clients. As a massage therapist/bodyworker/yoga teacher it was truly amazing to witness and feel into as I was massaging my clients.
I was beginning to see how my clients bodies held muscular patterns in directly relation to what their mind states where. Clients that came in that were more stressed, angry, unhappy and sad had almost similar body patterns. They almost always had tighter muscles, more injuries and just reported more pain in themselves. The clients who were happier, calmer and more peaceful, guess what? They almost always had a body pattern of muscles that were relaxed, flexible and easier to massage. It has taken me many years to really start to see all the patterning that goes on the mind/body and it is pretty amazing.
The thought patterns we have about ourselves turn into(manifest) as a real, organic 3 dimensional full body representation of what we are thinking most of the time.
A huge link to this patterning is about what our thoughts are moment to moment.
Plenty of people 'do' yoga and meditation and get positive results during their class for the few hours a week their connecting to themselves. Yet then they go right back out 'into the world' to being unconscious of what their mind flow is and how it deeply affects their body. People take a break from their chaotic life to do yoga and meditation without realizing that yoga and meditation are a life path focus of being aware all the time. We can become even more aware in the moment of the thoughts that cause our mind/body stress. We can learn to let those go in the moment, for the good our bodies, our minds and our lives. This is learning to re-train ourselves moment to moment, not just during the 1 1/2 hours we go sit on a mat in a yoga class.
There is a deeper internal shift that can happen so that we can be in a constant state of awareness. A deeper focus, a presence and an intent to be more aware all the time.
Thoughts become the 'things' of our bodies, or our issues are in our tissues. So I teach people to pay attention to what they are telling themselves all the time, all the time.
It can become easy to go into autopilot and go down an automatic path of stress and negativity. That stress and negativity affects how the body looks, feels and heals. Always.
It takes practice once we start to notice our automatic thoughts more. We can ask ourselves whether we are telling ourselves that we are healthy, beautiful, cared for and loved. It is at that level of thinking we are start to train our mind/body to be healthier, happy and more at peace. All from a place of conscious choice.
This article may seem like an alternative form of healing to some...yet if you take to heart what is written..you will come to learn how there is no alternative healing other than the wisdom that already resides in you as your body/mind always wants to return to natural health.