What Are Mindset Minisodes?
I’ve been hosting the Phoenix Helix Podcast for over 8 years, and there are now over 200 episodes in the archives! The long-form interviews you know and love will continue every 4 weeks. In between, I’ll be sharing short episodes inspired by my book: Healing Mindset – A Guide to the Mind-Body Connection for People With Autoimmune Disease. Stress is a powerful trigger of inflammation and autoimmune activity, and most of us have experienced stress-induced autoimmune flares. That’s the power of the mind-body connection working against us. However, we can also make the mind-body connection work for us! Simple techniques can help us relieve stress and send an anti-inflammatory cascade through our bodies instead. That’s my goal with these episodes. In each one, I’ll teach a simple technique you can start using right away.
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Can We Befriend a Body in Pain?
With autoimmune disease, we’ve been told that our body is attacking us which sets up war imagery in our minds. We suddenly believe that our bodies want to hurt us instead of help us. And when we’re living with pain and disability, that certainly seems to be true. But what if our bodies actually want to protect us, and with autoimmune disease they’ve become overprotective? What if modern life has simply overwhelmed our bodies, and they’re doing everything they can to survive.
I think a key to living well with autoimmune disease is learning to befriend our bodies because we are not separate from them. Our bodies are our home. So, when we get furious with our bodies, and hate our bodies, all of the furious energy gets directed toward ourselves. It’s understandable to feel this way when we’re suffering, but it’s not a healing mindset.
There’s a parallel here that’s interesting to consider. We want our body to stop attacking itself. Are we willing to do the same, mentally and emotionally?
Write a Letter To Your Body
- This is a powerful practice in honoring the complex relationship we have with our bodies, and help us move toward friendship.
- The goal of this letter isn’t just to focus on gratitude, but to provide an outlet for all of the complex emotions you feel about your body. Remember, in the last mindset minisode I talked about how important it is to express emotions rather than repress them. So, don’t censor yourself. In this letter, express the pain and anger, the sadness, the fear, the insecurities. Write about how you feel your body has let you down.
- After that, explore the ways you may have let your body down. Again, don’t censor yourself. How have you treated your body badly over the years, adding to its burden? How have you taken it for granted? Express any guilt or regret you may feel about those choices. Can you forgive your body? Can you forgive yourself?
- Now, shift the focus to the positives. What thanks do you owe your body? What has it allowed you to do over the years before developing autoimmune disease? How does it support you in your life now with the challenge of chronic illness?
- And what about you? What thanks do you owe yourself? How have you been kind to your body over the years? How do you support your health now? You deserve praise for every self-care measure you take. You don’t need to be perfect to be worthy of praise.
- Finally, look to the future. Can you come up with a vision of you and your body moving forward together, knowing you’re on the same side?
- A variation of this exercise is to write a letter to your body, and your body writes back.
My Book: Healing Mindset
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