Is Your State Of Mind Getting In Way Of The Flow Of Life?
Audio Version Click Here
We all feel stress, anxiety and worry at times. These are normal and common human emotions. But do you find that you experience one or more of these emotions most of the time? Have you ever wondered what was going on underneath the “hood” when you are worrying about money or angry with your boss or feeling anxiety over the amount of work that needs to get done? Lets go on short trip through the body and explore.
So your boss just dropped a bomb and everyone needs to work overtime all week to get the task done. Your mind immediately begins to fire up the thought machine “why does this always happen to me?” “I have plans this week after work, they can’t keep me here!” “Maybe I can be sick the next couple of days, I have plenty of sick days saved up.” “My spouse is going to kill me, I promised I would be home for dinner with the family every night this week.” As the thought machine churns and we buy into our thoughts and arguments we send a ripple effect through the body creating a multi dimensional experience that reflects our thinking.
Like a rock dropped into a pond creates ripples, a thought dropped into our consciousness ripples through the nervous system and we experience physical change. We begin to feel tension on the body. The chest gets tight, breathing gets a little shallower, shoulders come forward and up and the jaw gets tighter. Ok, shake that off, you get the picture. What we often don’t think about are the ramifications of this tension on the flow of life, our blood.
I often refer to blood as the sap of life as it shuttles nutrients and oxygen to every cell in the body. As blood flows through our body, busy delivering the goods to our over 60 trillion cells, it no doubt already has a big job. When we innocently get high jacked by our thinking, we significantly compromise the flow of life through our body. Here is how that works.
Blood is pumped through the body by the heart and is assisted by the contraction and relaxation of muscles creating a pumping action. This is one reason exercise and getting up and moving is so important throughout the day. When we hold stressful and worry type thoughts, we activate the our primal brain, switching on the “fight or flight system.” This is all by amazing design preparing us for a temporary fight or flight from a dangerous situation. BUT, a glitch in the human design allows us to attach ourselves to our thinking and run it on a loop over and over keeping that temporary fight or flight system engaged. The physical result is pain, decreased immune system, increased toxicity in the body, decreased flexibility, illness etc.
Did you know that when we engage a muscle by just 5%, we decrease the blood flow by up to 70% through that muscle. Remember, muscles are designed to contract and relax over and over, not contract and stay contracted. This subtle tension being held in the system inhibits the delivery of oxygen, nutrients and the removal of toxins from the system. Imagine sitting in your house and suddenly the levels of oxygen go down making it a little harder to breath while your food and water are cut by 70% and toxic waste is not being removed. No Fun!
As the body continues to do the best it can to survive, toxins begin to build up and pollute the system at the cellular level. You see, when the “fight or flight” system is activated, the system is prepared to fight or flight shunts the blood flow to the limbs of the body. For example, blood moves from the core of the body and the digestive system to the extremities. Turns out we fight or flee better with our arms and legs than we do with our intestines. During fight or flight the body is no longer prioritizing digestion, detoxification or sex. Why would we? According to our thoughts, our life is being threatened.
Unfortunately, unless we see our thinking differently or have a new thought about our situation, we continue on this path moving into a catabolic state (no, I did not say catatonic, not yet anyway). A catabolic state is when the body is actually no longer able to keep up with the daily maintenance, repair and rebuilding that the body requires and is now breaking down faster than it is building back up. The result is pain, injury, illness, rashes, digestive disorders, new habits (listen to the recorded talk Transforming habits from Insight out available on our website) and depression. In short, a forced time out for you!
This is precisely what is going on inside of our body when we innocently misunderstand how thought works. In part II we will explore how we can work with the design of the system and get back into the flow of life even if your boss is a jerk, your kids are crazy, your bank account is empty and your dog hates you.