| | intriging information on physical manifestations of anxiety
If you are like me, you do the same thing. I get a bothersome symptom, say it's tenderness in my left rib. I google the symptom. I learn that rib pain is a symptom of muscular dystrophy. I freak and after that everytime I get a symptom of muscular dystrophy I google more about it and all this information finds a permanent place in my memory.
This book I read explains the scientific process of physical manifestations of our thoughts and emotions. It works like this:
When your brain decides that rib pain as a symptom of muscular dystrophy is USEFUL information, it stores that information in your brain. The place where it is stored is used for future reference, so that when you feel that symptom, that memory tells you that you may have muscular dystrophy. You feel worry (sub-conscious or not) and then your body releases the natural chemicals based on your emotional reaction to this memory. In this case, it's a fearful memory and the chemicals are bad ones. The more bad memories you have, the more often these bad chemicals are released. This constant flow of bad brain-body feedback causes changes in how your body perceives REAL threats, such as an infection.Your body is so pumped full of negative feedback that when a flu hits, it already feels like it's in overdrive and can't react much stronger than it already is. Your immune system goes down the drain, and other systems as well. They say never eat when you're angry or sad... because your anger/sadness causes release of bad chemicals from your brain that prevent proper absorption and functioning of your digestive system. Same reason I bet that they say all that stuff about how forgiving someone will benefit you most.
How this can help you:
You've been feeling like crap. Your body aches and you're constantly asking that question: "is this anxiety again or should I google it and find out if something else is going on?" You're stuck in a cyclic rut and always feel like crap. I mean, of course you do. I wouldn't give two craps about having anxiety if it didn't physically affect me.
Maybe instead of wondering about your physical health, you're worrying about that big old star 14 million lightyears away that might blow up and cause our planet to spin off it's axis.
In any case, you are consciously choosing to filter negative thoughts through your brain.
as soon as you realize you are having a negative thought, decide whether it will be USEFUL to contemplate it. If not, just release it. Say in your head "this thought is no use to me. i'm letting it go" and instantly think of something else. A joke, something your 3 year old did the other day, what you'd like to eat for dinner...who cares. as soon as you finish thinking that thought, the bad one will try to come back. Kick it right back out again! remember that stir-fry you were just dreaming of and imagine what soya sauce would taste like on it instead of the usual sweet'n'sour =)
now some negative thoughts can be converted into positive ones.
" how am i gonna explain to my boss that I need another afternoon off this week?" you might just dwell on how crummy it is that you have to put yourself in the bad employee seat again. instead, get creative. imagine as though you were thinking up advice for someone else.
"last week when I asked for the afternoon off i felt uncomfortable by the way he looked at me. this time, i'm gonna wear sunglasses and hire a naked woman to run through the office when I tell him"
you might not actually do this but play with yourself a little. create a good thought or feeling out of nothing and keep it. in any case, you still have to consider ways to ease your concern about looking bad when asking for that afternoon. just don't conclude that being uncomfortable about doing so is the most useful information you can come up with on the subject. take it further or release it completely.
practicing having more happy thoughts than not happy thoughts over time eliminates all those bad-memory responses and relieves your body of those symptoms that the negative feedback created. it takes time. it feels silly. but heck, lets try feeling silly instead of worrysome. you may find that instead of getting a feeling of dread when someone mentions rib pain, you get a giggle because it reminds you of this witty thread.
I have been applying this theory for 2 weeks ( I still have my bad days, which is why I'm here now). I think it definitely helps to actually understand why our thoughts and worries cause physical symptoms.
I'm sorry if this is all too hard to understand I really mean to help! I might even post it in a few more places where I feel it could benefit someone.
never forget to consciously CHOOSE your thoughts. turn off autopilot!
best wishes and i am so right there with you!