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The neurological, hormonal, digestive and immune system are all affected by what we think and how we feel.
A classic example is the fight-or-flight response. Fear, panic, stress and trauma can activate the fight-or-flight mechanism, shutting down certain functions in the body, for example, our ability to digest food or heal from an injury.
The inter-relationship between all our systems is profound – and sometimes beyond our control.
Did you know that as newborns and even while in utero, our mental and emotional world was already taking shape?
For example, there have been studies showing that mom’s exhausted adrenal glands will actually pull on the stress hormones of her unborn child. We also know that the love and attention a newborn infant receives (or does not receive) can have a life-long influence on how that individual perceives stress.
When we think of detoxification, the first thing that comes to mind for most of us is a physical detoxification. In other words, cleaning up our diet.
Springtime in Chinese Medicine is the proper time to cleanse the body. All too often we forget about the most important aspect of a cleanse: cleaning up our emotional and mental habits!
Physical disease begins with stagnate energy.
When anything in the body does not move, it becomes diseased.
This is true of physical toxins, such as heavy metals. This is true of food, such as when it rots and ferments in the digestive system. This is also true of emotions.
When we refuse to feel an emotion or when we hang on to an emotion, we create the perfect environment for disease.
Sometimes we are aware of how we deal with emotions. Sometimes we have forgotten that an emotion ever existed in the first place. This is especially true of trauma that occurs during early childhood.
No matter when an emotion or thought pattern developed, you have the ability to release it and let it go—essentially detox the emotion or thought pattern, so that it no longer dominates your life.
Cleaning up thought patterns and emotional baggage is a labor-intensive process. A mental and emotional detox requires awareness and surrender.
This can be scary. And many of us are afraid of what we might find.
This is why it is helpful to approach life with a sense of wonder.
When you notice emotions like fear, judgment, grief, anxiety or regret, allow this to fascinate you.
Ask yourself where you feel the emotion in your body. As you learn more about a mental or emotional habit, you will begin to see where it influences your life and how you respond to it.
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