We live in a world orientated around problem and solution. We are bombarded by solutions around every corner. Take this, do that, take this, do that, repeat! Many of them work around something that you consume, but one secret weapon that is often missed is your mindset. Our busy lives lead us to searching for quick fixes, but research shows us that the thinking and feeling part of who we are has a significant impact on our symptoms and our long-term health, which is truly our main goal.
Let’s tune into your health right now. How does your gut feel? How are your hormones? Are you inflamed? Struggling with aches and pains? Suffering with brain fog, mood swings? Feeling your metabolism is getting more sluggish by the day? If you answered no to these, then you get it, and know exactly what I’m talking about, keep up the great work. But for those of you nodding your heads and ticking the mental boxes to the above questions let’s talk about mindset.
One of my great teachers taught me “What is unexpressed by the body, shows up in the body.” In other words, repressing your emotions, not expressing how you feel in a situation means your are holding onto that emotion, and as we know every thought we have has an affect on what goes on in the brain, which has an effect on what hormones our body produces, meaning our health is manifested by our thoughts. It took me quite a while to wrap my brain around this concept, because I was doing all the right things, I was eating all the right foods but I was still struggling with my hormones and my gut would flare-up for no-expected reason, and so, I started to explore my thoughts around my symptoms and how my mindset was affecting my gut-health.
Let’s circle back to those symptoms, when a flare-up happens for you what thoughts do you have about it? E.g. I hate my body, why does this keep happening to me, I am sick of looking and feeling bloated etc. These thoughts can be very stressful on your body, and ultimately you are left feeling victim to your symptoms. So let’s turn this victim mode around and empower your body to move through your flare-up’s and in-time see them as your biggest learning.
So the next time your symptoms show up, here are 3 mindset tips to help you manage & explore the wisdom of your body.
Quit the blame game.
In a flare-up you may be looking at your plate and blaming every item of food staring back up at you. Let’s take a deeper perspective, food sensitivities are your bodies way of communicating that there is a food-processing issue present in your digestion. Awareness fuels freedom, use this awareness to guide you to take action steps towards seeking the root cause and in the meantime, see that plate of food as an opportunity to help your processing struggles by chewing, chewing and more chewing which ultimately helps your body to access those amazing macro & micro nutrients that your body requires for healing. Tune into the sensation of chewing and taking your time to allow your body to process better, which may even reflect to you how busy life is, when you don’t have the time to enjoy the experience a meal gives you.
Shift your Perspective:
You are not your symptoms!
You are not your symptoms.
It can be very stressful on your body when you experience a flare-up and emotionally this can drive feelings of anger, frustration and sadness to think that your body isn’t working properly or trying to hurt you. But if you can move beyond these thoughts and shift your perspective you can open up the world of wisdom that lies within each and every symptom. Taking this approach can shift you from masking a flare-up to fully experiencing it and knowing you survived it all, which is the ultimate endorphine producer. Pain is our biggest challenge, riding the waves of pain using the breath and mindfulness practices can in-turn help your body to release endorphins which naturally supress pain (ask any woman who has rode the waves of labour pain). One of the best tips I received from my Dr. was to breath deeply just as the pain reaches its highest peak so you can exhale deeply with the pain. Keep yourself warm with blankets, hot water bottle, socks so the comfort of these can help soften the harshness of the pain.
Celebrate the Little Things:
If you are a gut-health sufferer, you may be driven by the desire to want to “fix-it” now, and if something doesn’t work straight away you may find yourself losing patience, getting frustrated or worse giving up!
Celebrating the small things can be the motivation you need to keep going. We all know “Rome wasn’t built it a day”, so let’s not expect healing to happen overnight. Because our body didn’t end up here over-night. Instead, draw your mind to how good it feels to take time to eat, how good it feels to cook a meal, how good it feels when you know you are nourishing your gut and feeding your body.
Focus on the times where you are not bloated, how your body can experience calm in these times.
Your mind is a powerful tool, understanding your mindset around your symptoms, and developing tools to bring your mindset into your gut-health journey can have a very liberating effect on your health.