Mind over Body – Thinking yourself into health

Mind over Body - Working a lot

The past few weeks I have been wresting with the idea of mind over body. I have been battling infections, including a bout of sinusitis that has me feeling like I am deep under water with an incredible headache! My mind is fuzzy, I am tired and feel generally irritated, short-tempered and nasty! Mind over body, sick in bed  

Mind Over Body

In the midst of my misery, while heading back to the pharmacy for ear drops, I thought of the messages in the self-help genre that preach the power of the mind over the body. These messages tell us that we can alter physical reality with the power of our thoughts. And when things go bad, it’s a fault of our thoughts, which were not in alignment with our true desires. You can imagine how this philosophy would at times be empowering, but at other times be wholly discouraging. And perhaps most dangerously, it might have you ignore the signs of a reality that requires attention and action, such as an illness.

Mind over body - Vitruvian Man

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Now I know I did not “think” this discomfort upon myself. Contrary to those who believe in “The Secret,” my thoughts have not created my reality. While the mind is extremely powerful and can often enable us to endure, persevere and see the positive in negative experiences, there are still physical realities that we, as physical beings, have to contend with. Right now, battling sore ears, sore throat, tiredness and crankiness, my body feels a lot more powerful than my mind! The body is a powerful thing, and it is vital that we pay attention to what it tells us–rest when we need to, eat healthy foods, sleep, drink water, exercise, and treat our body with the respect it deserves.

Perseverance

I cannot “think” my illness away, any more than I can “think” myself into top shape without living in a healthy manner and working for it. The importance of the mind is not in thinking, believing, or wishing your way through adversity, but in pushing yourself forward with the confidence in your ability and your self. And ultimately, you still have to take action. So, I tackled my day, determined to get some productive work accomplished, despite the headache. A few hours later, I do feel better and I am congratulating myself on not going into a total collapse.

Mind over body - Working a lot

Drawing by Eric Schmuttenmaer on Flickr, (cropped)

A Beautiful System

Do not believe the admonishments that encourage total “mind over matter.” While we may be spiritual beings living in a physical reality, it is this beautiful gift of a body that allows that spirit to be expressed. So, do not be fooled, the mind is not more powerful than the body, nor is the body more important than spirit or mind. We are created mind, body, spirit–all intended to work together in complimentary harmony. Thank God!  

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