Updated: Jan 17
The beliefs you hold about yourself and the world, your emotions, your memories and your habits all can influence mental and physical health.
Thinking Outside of the Box
For centuries, healers have pondered the connection between mental and physical health. In recent years, science has begun to recognize the powerful connections through which emotional, spiritual and behavioral factors can directly affect health outcomes. As research in the field of mind-body medicine is finding, emotions and thought patterns can contribute to imbalances within the body and therapies like hypnosis, visual imagery, meditation, yoga, and NLP are being used to re-establish balance and promote health.
The beliefs you hold about yourself and the world, your emotions, your memories and your habits all can influence mental and physical health. These connections between what is going on in your mind and heart and what is happening in your body, form the psycho-emotional roots of health and disease.
The Subconscious Mind
"Your conscious mind is the editor. Your subconscious mind is the writer" ~ Steve Martin
In order to understand the nature of the influence the mind has upon the body we must first know something of the vast wonderful field of The Subconscious Mind, also known as the “Subjective Mind;” the “Involuntary Mind;” the “Subliminal Mind;” the “Unconscious Mind,” even your “Highest Self” etc.
Among the various functions of the Subconscious Mind, one of the most important is that it controls and maintains the involuntary activities and functions of the human body through the sympathetic nervous system, the cells, and cell-groups.
You don’t have to think about making your body digest food, it simply does it. You put food in and it does the rest. This is an example of an involuntary function of the human body, one that is guided by the subconscious mind.
To really understand the breadth of what our subconscious mind controls consider every organ in your body that is functioning in its own right. Your five senses, the muscles which keep your heart beating, your pulsating arteries, and the blood that is moving through them, the expansion and contraction of your lungs, each breath you take, the entire work of nutrition, repair and body-building, just to name a few.
The best authorities now generally agree that there is no part of the body which may be considered as devoid of mind. The Subconscious Mind is not confined to the brain, or even the greater plexuses of the nervous system, but extends to all parts of the body, to every nerve, muscle, and even to every cell and cell-group of the body. The functions and processes of the body are no longer considered as purely mechanical, or chemical, but are now seen to be the result of mental action of some kind. Therefore, in considering the Subconscious Mind, one must not think of it as a resident in the brain alone, but rather as being distributed over the entire physical body. There is mind in every cell, every organ, every muscle, every nerve—in every part of the body.
The Cell Mind
Your mind is in every cell of your body.
Modern science has demonstrated that the human body is composed of a multitude of microscopic cells, that is; the muscles, nerves, tissues, blood, bones, hair and nails are made up of minute cells, and groups of cells. There is no part of the human body in which the cell is not seen. All of these cells are nucleated— meaning they have in them a central life-spot like the yolk of an egg. Each cell is born, reproduces itself, dies and is absorbed by the body. The maintenance of life and health depends upon the constant regeneration of the cells.
Medical science now asserts that disease of the body is really disease of the cells which the body is composed of, and, healing the body relies on restoring the cells to normal activity and functioning.
The various cells of the body are constantly busy, each performing its particular task, either singly or in connection with other cells in a cell group. Let me explain this in a way that will help you get a visual.
Like a great army, the cells are divided into classes, some being engaged in the active daily work, while others are held back on the reserve line. Some are engaged in building up the tissues, muscles and bones, while others are busy manufacturing the juices, secretions, fluids and chemical compounds required in the great laboratory of the body.
Some remain at their posts, stationary during their entire life, while others remain stationary only until the call comes for their services, while a third class are in constant motion from place to place either following regular routes or else travelling with strict instruction. Some of the moving cells act as carriers of material—like vitamins and minerals, while others move about doing special repair work such as the healing of wounds, etc., others are the scavengers and street cleaners of the system.
The body has been compared to a vast communistic or socialistic colony, each member of which cheerfully devotes their life-work, and often their life itself, to the common good.
I know this is a lot of information and you haven't signed up to become a biologist today, but stay with me on this, it is really helpful for you to understand the level of interconnection that is happening inside of your body.
The brain and heart share similar cells which are the most highly organized, and the most highly differentiated of the cells. The nerve cells constitute a living telegraph system over which is carried the messages from several parts of the body, each cell being in close contact with its neighbour on each side—the nerve cells practically clasp hands and form a living chain of communication.
The body is constantly undergoing a process of change and regeneration. Old cells are being cast off every second, and new cells are taking their places.
Our muscles, tissues, hair, nails, nerves, brain substance and even our bones are constantly being made over and rebuilt. Our bodies to-day do not contain a single particle of the material which composed them a few years back. A few weeks suffices to replace our entire skin, and a few months to replace other parts of the body. If a sufficiently large microscope could be placed over our bodies, we would see each part of it as active as a hive of bees, each cell being in action and motion, and the entire domestic work of the human hive being performed according to structure and order.
It is true that the life and mind in the cells are derived from the Subconscious Mind. In fact, the cells themselves may be said to embody the Subconscious Mind, just as the cells of the brain embody the Conscious Mind (the one that experiences thoughts). There is not a single cell, which is devoid of mind. Mind is imminent in the entire body, and in its every part, down to the smallest cell.
How Your Thoughts Are Affecting Your Well-Being
Did you know 95% of your life is affected by your subconscious?
Now that you understand how our cellular intelligence communicates with our subconscious mind, it is time to explore how your everyday thoughts can impact your state of health and wellbeing.
Each cell is endowed with an instinctive or intuitive, knowledge of all that is essential to preserve its own life and conserve its energies. Biology shows us that there are unquestionable methods of communication between cell and cell, so as cells gather together in groups, they share information, then they come together to form an organ, and that organ then shares in the vast field of cellular intelligence. One collective mind, governed by the subconscious mind.
So far, we have only looked at one function of the subconscious mind and that has been to control and maintain the involuntary functions of the body. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
The subconscious mind has many roles, one of its other major functions is to store and retrieve all of the information that we take in from the outside world. It not only stores your memories, but it organises them so that it can link similar things and ideas together. For example, you eat curry and the next time you smell similar spices your mind associates it to curry. This helps you to learn quickly and think efficiently. However, it also has a downside.
Your subconscious mind cannot filter what information it takes in, therefore from the moment you are born EVERY experience you have, imprints how you relate to and associate with the world. Picture it like this, your subconscious mind is a computer and over time it creates a personalised program that runs on patterns consistent with your self-concept. All decisions, emotions and beliefs, either influenced by you or another are all retained as part of your ‘master program.’ Like the auto-pilot on a plane, it guides what you do, think and say.
Naturally, if the nonconscious mind is governing the functions of our cells, then our auto-pilot setting is not limited to how we behave in the world, but also in how we are communicating with our physical body. This allows major life events, stressors, or emotions to trigger physical symptoms.
You may have experienced this aspect of the mind-body connection when you feel butterflies in your stomach when you are nervous, or when you are dealing with intense stress and your heart feels like it is pounding out of your chest.
When the body is well-nourished and the mind cheerful and active, the cells thrive, they do their job and naturally the body repairs rapidly.
But when the physical system is run down, the body poorly nourished and the mind depressed and full of fear, the cells cannot maintain the structure and every time they renew they become a little more deformed and incapable of doing their job.
Due to this mind-body connection, the way you think, feel and the deep-seated belief patterns you hold can all contribute to the development of disease. If you do not explore and deal with painful emotions, they can create an underlying sense of anxiety, depression or anger that can physically disrupt the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Picture a scenario whereby you are repeating a story you have been telling yourself over and over again in your head, perhaps about the way you should do something, or how you look. Make a list of the key words that you use, either positive or negative. All the time asking the bigger question, Who am I really? This can be quite a process, an enlivening experience, it may bring a multitude of conflicting values and self-identity clashes. Explore them gently … then, when the time feels right, ask the bigger question;
How are these thoughts affecting my state of well-being right now?
I love your comments and when you share your personal stories. It’s how we learn! I appreciate your unique thread in the tapestry of life.
Love & Blessings