My son has been sick with a sore throat/cough thing for 5 days now. He is not usually sick ever. He is a very active teenager who loves to play sports. So after not getting better over the past week, I decided to take a look at the mind part of the mind-body-spirit realms. I recalled how he was very down on school last Monday and Tuesday. He said out loud, "I hate school. Why do I have to go to school? I hate homework. Why do I have to do this?" Hmmmm.
Could those strong emotions have played some role in his current situation of being sick? He is so sick that he cannot attend school right now. He has missed 4 days in a row which he has never done in his whole life. Do you think his body was just listening to his desire to not be in school? Was it reacting to his thoughts? Is that possible?
I am a firm believer in the mind-body connection. I have read many books on the subject and attended lectures on this topic. I also have a teacher, Beatrex Quntanna, who told us to talk to our cells in our body and have them get on board with what we want to do in the world. She spoke to us about our relationship with our cells and that 90% of them have to be in alignment with our mental goals to move forward. I wondered if my son was speaking to his body in an unhealthy and unproductive way. I wanted to bring this body/mind idea to my son in a way that he would understand. No one is 100% positive that a cold is caused by our mental state but the science does prove that there is a relationship between our thoughts and our bodies. If you can improve your mental state, it can certainly help your physical state. Alignment or coherence is a good thing.
So how does my son learn best? YouTube videos. I thought of various articles or excerpts from books but that would be good but too boring for him. So, I put together these 3 videos that I found quickly on YouTube and thought I would share them here. This first one is a 40 second quickie on how our minds effect our bodies from Joan Borysenko. (I love her work.)
So, if your thoughts do truly effect your body even in this simple way, how much is your body listening to your thoughts? How is your body working on your behalf to make your desires come true (i.e. not go to school because you hate it)? Do you think there could be a relationship there? What if you changed your thoughts about school? Would that change your physical well-being?
The next video is a short clip from Deepak Chopra describing just a bit about the neuroscience of our brains (it's too short to get boring).
When I showed my son that one, things he had learned in biology started to kick in. Yes, he had heard of these neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Chopra points out that science over the past 30 years has come to appreciate and examine a connection between the body and the mind.
And this led the way to the third video that ties it all together in a short interview with Oprah Winfrey from 1993 describing how our thoughts can lead to our reality and effect our physical world (not just inside our bodies but outside of them as well). Mind over matter, literally.
This was where the message hit home and Oprah almost misses it entirely as she is concerned about making her show interesting. Chopra says "You see, your expectancy determines outcome. And as long as you are not attached to the outcome, the outcome will be guaranteed." Wow. Think about that for a second. Reread that line. Your thought (the mind portion of imagining the object moving in a circle) determines the outcome (the object moving in a circle). And he demonstrated it rather quickly. If our thoughts effect the physical world (the object on the string), then most certainly our thoughts would effect our physical body.
The suggestion I made to my son was to change his thoughts about school. We both know he has to go to school so that is not a situation that can change. He needs to change his thoughts about school so that his mind and body are in alignment that going to school is a good thing. When his body heard him say he did not want to go to school anymore, did it help him achieve that by making him more susceptible to a bad cold? Did his desire to not be in school effect the outcome? I don't know that I could say 100% that this is what happened. But it is interesting to think about these connections.
I asked my son to think about what is positive about school. He gets to play sports and see his friends. Sometimes he gets to laugh in class and have a good time. There are a lot of good things about school and I told him if he focuses on that, then his body may be in better alignment with the idea of keeping him healthy so he can attend school. I told him to talk to his cells and tell his body how much he appreciates it and loves what it can do for him. I told him to tell his body that he wants to go back to school and that he wants to be healthy.
And then I asked him to take it one step further and imagine himself back at school tomorrow feeling much better. I asked him to visualize himself laughing with his friends and see himself at baseball practice surprised at how good he was feeling and how much he was able to accomplish. The expectancy leads to outcome. If he expects his body to be better tomorrow and he creates that expectancy and lets go of his attachment to it, then the outcome will be guaranteed. Well, that is what Chopra said. Even if you are not 100% sure that the outcome will be guaranteed, isn't it worth a try? What is the worst that could happen?
I am hopeful that tomorrow will be a better day for my son. I also hope that his beginning to understand that our thoughts effect our physical world and our bodies will help him to be more mindful of what is flowing through his brain.