There is no secret that the mental affects the physical. In fact, there have been numerous studies on the subject. There have been studies on our inability to forgive or hold resentments and how this leads to anxiety and depression. Subjects like anger and rage or resentment and the constant internal struggle with the internal voice which can otherwise drive us insane can also put us at risk of strokes, heart disease and heart attacks. There have been studies to prove that mental illness fuels physical disease. I suppose this is why self-care means more than just a healthy diet.
There is no secret to the idea that our mental health affects our physical ability. And everybody knows this. Everyone knows that it is better to forgive than hold grudges. Things like grudges and old feuds can both drain and degrade us from being at our personal best.
But then again, as much as we understand this from an intellectual standpoint; the emotional side is consumed with the ideas of injustice.
We will always want answers to the emotional discomfort of resentment and pain. And what about humiliation or what about shame? Don’t they suck?
What about the feelings of foolishness that come with betrayal? What about any of the empty feelings that degrade us?
The truth is as long as we focus on the violations against us and so long as there is a feeling or unresolved tension or injustice; so long as we have a feelings, we will always have the need to make sense of them.
We look to find who is at fault. We try to find a sense of accountability so that we can assign and understandable sense of blame. This way we can settle the uneasiness in our hearts.
There is no secret that the mind is not always a friendly partner. Memory is not always an honest factor because memory can be swayed.
Memory can be influenced by the deception of our perception. The end results of emotion can change our point of view or shade our interpretations.
Understand something: Thoughts and feelings are not fact. Yet, to us, our thoughts and feelings are as real as anything else we see.
Mental health affects the physical body. This is true. But why?
Could it be that when we are down or depressed that we don’t take care of ourselves?
Why is it that when depression hits, we can hardly stand up or get out of bed?
How come our thoughts are so intense?
Why do we hold onto our stressors more dearly than the common smile or the feeling of joy?
After a downfall of mine, I had to take a long hard look at myself. I was angry. I blamed other people. I blamed them for countless reasons. However, and in all honesty, the problem rested within me.
I wanted to resolve the turmoil in my heart. I wanted to right the wrongs that I had done and save myself from the vulnerable shame of public exposure. But nothing satisfied me.
There is a saying that I subscribe to. There is a saying about true friends and how to tell who they are. I subscribe to this idea because at the time, I created a spiral for myself. I was alone.
I looked around to realize there are more friends when you are at the top. I came to the realization that the bottom is a lonely place. Humiliation is a lonely feeling. So is depression and anxiety. There was a connection here between me and the way I cared for myself.
There are times in life when news is disheartening. There are times when we let others down and there are times when we let ourselves down.
There are moments when we waken to the understanding that we have been hurt, that we are vulnerable, and that like porcelain, our ego is fragile and yet, all we want to do is hide the cracks that define our so-called vulnerability so that no one can hurt us again.
Ego is this thing inside of us. Ego is not always a friend. Ego is the I, I, I or the me, me, me and the truth is it is I. It is me.
All of my resentments and my anger, all of my disputes and unresolved tensions, my opinions and my assumptions of others and their view of me and the need to be absolved; as if to erase my wrongs and be accepted again is all on me.
Our ideas of right and wrong are not too far apart; nor is the idea of pleasure and pain. There are pleasures we feel that bring us incredible amounts of pain and yet, due to the pain, we look to find our moments of pleasure in any way we can.
So what do we do? What happens?
Why is it that we make decisions which we know contradict our true self?
Why do we do “Bad” things to feel “Good”?
The common suggestion that people have is simple.
“Just let it go? “
How do we let something go when we feel pain or turmoil? How do we “Calm down” when we find ourselves stuck in the grips of anxiety?
Better yet. how can we rest or sleep when we have anxious ideas that lead us down the road of personal inefficiency? Or worse, how can we feel better if our ideas defy us and lead us down the path of personal rejection?
The reason why we can’t “Just let it go,” is because we have thoughts that lead to unresolved ideas. This connects us to the chemical reactions, which come with the end result of emotion.
And get this; it’s not just one injustice. It’s not only one incident that we struggle with. No, this is much bigger and far deeper than the surface levels of basic insults or violations.
This is a connection of our biases and trained opinions that connect past events with both current events and future predictions. The truth is anxiety is all in our heads.
Emotional discomforts are internal and literally invisible. No one sees this, except us. No one else knows about the abundance of shame or regret. No one knows that struggle or how painful it is to hold the ideas which we literally want to strangle and suffocate. The only way these ideas physically represent themselves is through our behavior and our lack of self-care.
I used to assume people saw me a certain way. I used to try and save myself from the shame of the guilt and the pain. I used to try and defend myself with lies or with excuses but deep down, the truth is I was most resentful due to the embarrassments within. I wanted to hide my mistakes and solve the guilt of self-destructive humiliation.
And why are we self-destructive? Why do we sabotage ourselves?
Is it only a lack of self-esteem? Is this our way of connecting our predictions to the way we feel about ourselves? So what do we do?
We cause a failure to match our inner feeling so that we can say, “Look, I told you so!” and yet, meanwhile, we never seem to notice that most of our wounds are self-inflicted.
I am imperfect. I have flaws and defects of character. I have allowed my faults to interrupt with my life on more than one occasion.
Humility is a painful lesson. However, humility is honesty.
That’s all it is; to be humble or modest is to allow the absence of pride. To hold oneself accountable is the ultimate freedom.
However, there are distractions. There is the fear of external rejections and outside commentary. There is the need to put the past behind us, yet, there is a fear that somehow, the past will be unearthed and there we are again, reliving our old transgressions as if they were still alive and breathing.
The mind can be one of two things –
Either our mind can be our own best friend or our worst enemy. And enemies do not play fairly. The battle of the mind and the subconscious programs and biases can be a bully. Solve this and we solve the mental challenges we face on a daily basis.
Be good to yourself.
Allow yourself to improve.
Replace troublesome thoughts with beneficial actions.
Find a path and a resource to create your best possible self.
Allow yourself to find a passion to fuel your purpose.
Do not give in to the distractions of outside opinion.
Do not be afraid to be truthful about yourself.
Admit your wrongs.
Whenever that voice in your head starts raging on about an old conversation or if you start thinking about other people, places, and things and find yourself swiveling out of control and the anxiety machine kicks in, do not be afraid to say the word, “STOP!” and say this out loud if you have to.
Much of our dilemmas are a hallucination from within.
Let this clear and see the truth, which is that we have the right to move on.
Even if others want to remind us about the wreckage of our past; just remember the past is gone. The past is where resentment lives. And you and me, we don’t live there anymore.
Our health depends on it.