Chronic Illness and the Suffer-Less State of Healing
Updated: Apr 5, 2019
(Me, 2017,suffering in survival mode)
Yes, we have a real disease, but we also suffer over that disease. The disease and the suffering over the disease are separate. Suffering, as I have found, is largely unnecessary and we can train our minds out of it in most cases. All suffering does is tells our bodies to go into survival mode which changes the way our bodies function.
Our minds speak to our bodies and tell them to be in one of three states of operation :
Each state regulates hormones, neurotransmitters, organ function, digestion, metabolism, auto-immunity and cell activity differently.
The survival state triggers our bodies to redirect resources to things it thinks are important for IMMEDIATE survival at the sacrifice of functions that are essential to our long-term health.
In Survival, our bodies prepare for fight or flight by adjusting our hormones, neurotransmitters, and chemical balances.
These changes, alone, can lead to downstream modifications to how our bodies process sugars, fats, and carbohydrates and how they clear toxins.
Additionally, changes to digestion and gut bacteria occur, leading to things like Candida excess, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), leaky gut and therefore further inability to digest and absorb nutrients.
As our bodies are on high alert, it can lead to an up-regulation of our auto-immune systems. This can ultimately trigger autoimmune disease such as Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), Lupus, MS, and Hashimoto‘s Thyroiditis.
“...when we trap ourselves in a prison of negativity, worry, shame, and regret, our brains tell our bodies to remain in a state of mere survival, setting the stage for illnesses of all types.”
This state was designed to be temporary and short term, but when we trap ourselves in a prison of negativity, worry, shame, and regret, our brains tell our bodies to remain in a state of mere survival, setting the stage for illnesses of all types.
If we can learn to let go of our suffering, we can begin to return to a state of sustenance.
The state of sustenance allows us to maintain homeostasis and normal bodily functions and once we get back to it, our bodies will begin healing faster as our bodies’ physical state is working with our treatment regimens, not against them.
Ultimately, we can move into a state of thriving which is the body’s healthiest state.
I am pleased to say that I’m on my way there now, and it took a lot less time than it might have had I not remained open to the idea that the mind/body connection is stronger than we ever thought possible.
Once I began to heal the unresolved trauma I discussed in my first blog posts, I was quickly able to shift into sustenance and begin working towards thriving.
Put your mind in a state of thriving and your body will follow.
Below are a few ways you can start right now to live more and suffer less:
“1) Talk lovingly to your body.”
1) Talk lovingly to your body. Perhaps it sounds a bit eccentric, but believe me, it works. I hadn’t realized how much I was hating on my body and that its one trillion cells were listening to my thoughts and acting accordingly.
“Stupid gallbladder pain!” “My back will never stop hurting.” “I’ll never get off these damn meds.” “My hair will never stop falling out.”
This way of thinking sent a message to my body that it is in fact very unwell and this led to more pain, more hair loss, and more suffering.
Really and truly, our bodies are listening to our minds. You’ll be amazed when you switch over to loving thoughts and thoughts about what you DO want to feel and to happen. Perhaps not overnight, but with practice, your mind will get the hang of it and your body will happily follow suit.
All of our physical symptoms are our bodies’ way of letting us know something isn’t right, and this is where you might think I’m being a little flaky by suggesting that instead of scolding it for not working right, thank it for the messages it is sending and try things like,
“Lean into my love, knee pain. You are ok, here, exactly the way you are. I will switch to an anti-inflammatory diet, but for now how about a nice, hot bath?”
Sounds both sappy and far fetched? I thought so, too, until I gave it a shot.
The more you accept it and understand why it is happening and the less you resist it, the less you will feel pain and the less you will suffer over it.
I have been doing this for many months and while doing so, the healing energy I put out there is eagerly buzzing to oblige.
In the shower I massage my scalp and visualize how it is stimulating my hair follicles. I tell it how amazing it’s growing and when it breaks off, I encourage it to shed the old and bring in the new hair at the roots. I even sing it a little song, “Grow, hair, Grow, GROW...!!!” 😆
I felt a bit foolish until there was no denying that it is working! This brings me to point two:
“2) ...don’t obsess over diet. Focus on what you CAN have and the nourishment it is providing.”
2) Support your body with anti-inflammatory foods and supplements, but don’t obsess over diet. Focus on what you CAN have and the nourishment it is providing.
I was sick and desperate. I tried gluten-free, dairy, free, sugar-free, flavor-free... I researched all the possible sensitivities and I focused so much on what I *couldn’t* have instead of what I could have and how it was nourishing my body.
When it wasn’t helping, I often felt deprived and bitter and the feeling that outsiders to my situation didn’t understand only perpetuated this. This mindset got me no where but frustrated.
It was important for me to remind myself that it just doesn’t matter what others might be thinking and that I had to do what I knew was best for my health and happiness.
Once I discovered that for me, gluten, dairy and too much sugar are in fact inflammatory and only feeding parasites, yeast and bacterial overgrowth, I decided to finally make peace with it, omit the most obvious offenders and to fully enjoy what I can have.
I’d think, “these veggies are providing adequate fiber and making me feel whole and vibrant, avocado with its healthy fats nourishing every cell, while this salmon with its anti-inflammatory properties, Omega 3s, is supporting mood and brain health and helping my skin and nails.”
The more I talked about what I did want to accomplish and feel, the more I was naturally drawn to making the healthiest decisions for me, with a lot of divine guidance, as the resources fell into my lap as I was open, ready and willing to receive them.
I was led to various sources and began the supplement regimen best suited to my individual needs. I will go further into nutrition and supplementation in a future post.
“3) Practice self love and create a reasonable balance between work and play.”
3) Practice self love and create a reasonable balance between work and play.
Do not beat yourself up or obsess over the possible ramifications of having that one milkshake or skipping your yoga class to binge on mindless tv.
I‘ve found that by learning to practice radical self forgiveness in all areas, I’m actually less inclined to slip up in the future. By stressing about that thing I shouldn’t have ingested, I actually only stressed my body more and perpetuated the cycle.
Also, when I was too strict with my diet due to fear of the unknown, this would further stress my system, defeating the entire purpose of an anti-inflammatory diet. Emotional stress is right up there on the list of no-nos when battling inflammation and chronic illness.
Do what brings you joy. If you’re too exhausted after work to make a full-on healthy meal for the family, order in for your loves and blend yourself a quick, nutrient packed smoothie.
Don’t like yoga or hitting the gym? Do what feels right for you, whether it be a stroll around the yard or a spontaneous scooter sesh around the cul-de-sac.
Just today I found myself scooting on my ten year old’s purple Razor when a workout session seemed unappealing.
Just get your body moving to get blood flowing and toxins moving out!
Watch that romantic comedy you’ve been hankering to see and know that tomorrow will undoubtedly be better. If this hasn’t been the trend for you, you are bed bound and/or not in a place to imagine an easier future filled with joy and vitality, open yourself up to the possibility right now, because it. IS. Possible.
Less than two years ago I was at death’s door and could have never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be not only surviving, but very much thriving now.
The best part? I know in my heart that I’m here to stay. Healing sure isn’t linear, but the overall trend is often up, even when it doesn‘t always feel that way.
The first step is believing.
**I am truly passionate about the mind/body connection since experiencing it for myself and being here now to share what I’ve learned and what has worked for me. I’m excited to continue sharing with those of you on a similar journey.
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Happy Healing! 🙌🏼🙏🏼❤️🙏🏼
A few of the resources I found invaluable are below:
How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can: A Total Self-Healing Approach for Mind, Body, and Spirit https://www.amazon.com/dp/0738745545/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_XGPPCbDPVNPMV
Feelings Buried Alive Never Die https://www.amazon.com/dp/0911207023/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_wHPPCbPAJ7TMH
Trailers to incredible documentaries 🙏🏼
Emotional Intelligence 2.0: https://youtu.be/s5Hpm-6Inxc