I find that most people do not actually know how to pay attention to their bodies. They feel that they live in their mind and that their body is like a box to keep themselves in. This is why the psychoemotional self is so angered by the needs of the body and the ways it makes its plight known, such as pain and illness.
When we are sick or hurt, we just want to feel better immediately so that we can move on and do all the things we need to do in life. We feel angered at our own bodies when they betray us. We are greatly inconvenienced by their needs.
I have breaking news for you: You are your body. You do not live inside your head. Without your body, you are nothing. Without you inside, your body is just an empty anatomy.
To put it simply, the mind and body are inseparable parts of the human entity called you. This is why we utilize the term mindbody as a single word. They are not divisible, since life depends on both the anatomy and the cognitive/emotional mind in order to exist.
Every aspect of your life affects both body and mind. Every action influences the way you feel and causes changes in your body. Every thought and feeling creates your inner voices and these dialogs program your body to respond in very definite ways.
Mindbody health, mindbody disorders, mindbody therapy are all terms used throughout the healthcare sector. However, these nomenclatures are misleading and redundant. This is because every facet of health, disease and treatment affects body and mind equally. There is no separation. There can be no separation.
To put this all in perspective, and to make it relevant to you right now, I am telling you for a fact that in order to improve your life, you will need to address physical, cognitive and emotional issues.
It is the failure to process this truth that dooms many people to continued suffering, despite being incredibly involved in one particular aspect of treatment. I see people every day who have tried all the medical therapies available, but have not found success. This is because they have not even considered the cognitive and psychoemotional factors that are inherent causes and contributors to their suffering.
Likewise, I meet people who have been actively involved in cognitive research on their conditions, and are truly knowledgeable, but they are neglecting their emotional side or their physical needs, and therefore, remain sick or damaged in some way.
Finally, I often see people who are in counseling or psychotherapy for years and have made great breakthroughs in many emotional parameters. However, these people have often neglected the cognitive side of healthcare, such as researching and self-advocacy, or have ignored the needs of their bodies in favor of emotionally-soothing, but unproductive therapies that have them trapped in the past.
Speaking of the past, or the future for that matter: These are not where life takes place. Life is occurring right now. Life exists here in the present. The past is a memory, often filled with regret, sorrow and shame that negatively sculpt our present. Meanwhile the future is not yet written, but is still spoiled with worry, anxiety and the perception of fear.
This is classic time disconnect syndrome. The body is here right now, hoping that the mind will pay attention to it and listen to its needs. Meanwhile, the mind is lost in past regressions or is preoccupied in future anxiety.
Do you think this disconnect is a common cause of chronic pain and illness? You know it is. Science has taught us the truth of this explanation and therapies that are geared towards reuniting the mind and body demonstrate great results from improving life quality.
The past is gone. It will never come back. You can never change it. You can certainly review it productively and learn so much from your own historical record. However, you must not allow the negative emotions associated with suffering in the past to mold your present life. This will cause nothing but pain for you.
Holding on to negative emotions from the past will ruin your present. This is a fact. Anger, regret, shame and sorrow are the seeds of disease that inflict devastating injury to our mindbody right now.
Likewise, living with an eye on the future is wise and advised. However, preoccupation with a future, that has not yet been written, is unhealthy. Future thinking, when taken to an extreme, also causes mindbody disconnect, even if the thoughts are mostly positive.
Of course, in virtually every chronic pain and illness sufferer that I have ever worked with, their thoughts for the future are not at all positive. Instead, they are filled with dread, anxiety and worry over possible life outcomes and consequences in a future that is logically unpredictable. These people have already written their worst case scenarios and are helping to actually orchestrate the realization of these terrible realities by leaving their body alone in the present, while their mind exists in a future filled with negativity, rather than positivity.
When I ask about their vision of the future, these patients describe themselves as fearful.
My first instinct is to tell them that this is a misnomer. Fear is healthy. Fear also lives exclusively in the present and serves to protect us against immediate and real threat. Fear is a very short duration reaction that involves the fascinating response of fight, flight or freeze. Fear can not exist in the future, since no threat is present in this intangible time.
Instead, I instruct these people that they are not fearful. They are anxiety-filled and preoccupied by worry. Some might prefer the term nervous anticipation syndrome. Regardless, the mind has abandoned the body to live in a time that the body can never occupy. A disconnect is formed and the person has little hope for recovery until reunification can organically occur.