When Illness and Pain Really IS "In Your Head" (Spoiler Alert: Almost Always) and What To Do About It
No doubt you've heard it said about someone, maybe you, that what they're experiencing is "all in their head." Insinuating that it's not real.
Turns out, pain and illness really DO originate in the head more often than not. A whopping 75-90% according to several articles like this one on stress and illness. And that doesn't mean it's not real or that you're making it up. It DOES mean that our thoughts have a powerful influence over our physical health.
With February being American Heart Month, it's a great time to review some of the facts, myths, and updates on heart health.
Here's what I remember learning growing up about heart health. (psst...these are NOT the secrets)
• Cardio exercise is important
Is it really? Does this actually help our cardiovascular system?
Let's break it down.
Forgiveness comes easily for some, but for others of us, it's not easy. We tend to hold onto the hurt, hard feelings, and maybe even start to question ourselves and our identity. "Am I really a bad person?"
But the fact of the matter is, holding onto those feelings won't punish anyone but yourself. And that's not to say that the person who did you wrong should get off the hook and not have any consequences. In fact, forgiving someone may mean setting boundaries so they can't hurt you again. That's situational and may need some advice from a counselor to decide what's best.
What I want to share today though, is how harboring hard feelings affects your health.
A story not many people know is that shortly after having my third child, I started having severe gut issues. Cramping that felt like I was in labor again...only worse. But then it seemed to ease up and I wrote it off to hormones needing to balance out again.
Fast forward a few months and I started having panic attacks. As in chest pain, heart beating crazy fast, cold sweat, freaking out, fast breathing, thought I was dying.
I went to the nearest doctor who did an EKG and basically just told me everything seemed fine. "You've probably had a panic attack."
And then I thought I was fine for a bit. Although it left me really weak. Then I started having more of these "attacks" shortly after meals. Which made me afraid to eat.
I also realized I'd recently cleaned some mold from a bathroom wall shortly before the attacks started.
And my husband was working out of town which increased stress levels. And I had no support in the town where we lived.
Basically it was the perfect storm to take a body down.
However, supplementing with these things, while it may be helpful for a time, doesn't explain why the deficiency occurred in the first place.
Perhaps you've heard about the gut-brain connection. Which we've all felt to a certain extent as in feeling "butterflies in your stomach" when you're nervous, or even nausea when you're about to speak in front of a group of people.
Turns out, there's a gut-pain connection as well.