Sick and Tired of Thought Patterns
Is it me or is everyone, everywhere sick! Whether it be the flu, a virus, a stomach bug, sickness is in the air. I myself have been sick a lot recently. Whenever I come down with something, I think of it as a sign from my body to SLOW DOWN. Yes of course, there are germs and all that scientific blah blah...but when I get sick, I believe it is my body trying to send a message.
Just like in dreaming, when you have a nightmare, you remember it because your subconscious is trying to tell you something. It is unpleasant, but you must go through this experience to receive a message. I believe the same for sickness. When you come down with something, often times it is our bodies reacting, saying "Hello, listen to me!" Maybe it is cold, maybe it is tired, maybe it has been overworked and stressed. When we get sick, we have to take a step back, stop everything and focus solely on taking care of our body. We revert to a simpler form. There is only strength to nurture ourselves, no other complexities of life matter.
I reflected on this the last time I was sick. Noting a contributing factor to my weakened immune system was my compressed schedule and therefore…lack of sleep. I noticed that by overpacking my schedule, I was leaving no time to actually listen to the wants and needs of my body. Often, we push forward with our minds, not taking the time or regard to stop and listen to our bodies. We live in a reactive, habitual manner. Think, react, think, react. In that split second that we habitually react, can we slow down and asses why we are feeling the way we feel? In our world today, tired = coffee, stress = overindulging. If we can take a moment to pause and wonder why we are tired or why we are stressed, then maybe we can come to the root of our feelings and treat them properly instead of masking and coping with external remedies.
On the first day of recovery from sickness, I popped right back into my old routine. Packing in yoga classes, meetings, research, friends. Half-way into that first day, I laughed at myself. Had I learned nothing from being sick? This was the exact reason my body broke down in the first place. It is so easy to fall back into our states of habitual living. Since that day, I have been intentionally making time for myself to unwind and relax. It is not in my nature and at times extremely challenging. However, this has taught me the importance of creating productive relaxation time, giving body and mind a chance to synthesize all the thoughts, actions and experiences from the day.
Recently I watched a video on Galactic Scholar Consciousness that discussed how our brain is wired to make habitual decisions. In this video, the narrator states how our decision-making process has a significant emotional component and our experiences in life create imprints on the brain. These imprints are activated whenever we face similar situations. Repeated events cause neuro-patterns to reinforce their connection, binding them and building them like scar tissue. For example, if we habitually pick up a comfort food or sweet every time we are stressed, this will become an entranced pattern in the brain. A literal connection between the neurotransmitters in our brains will be made, creating deeply rooted patterns of behavior. To break these patterns, we need to create newer, stronger bonds between neurotransmitters.
How crazy is that!? In simpler terms, our repeated actions and behaviors create imprints on our brains that lead to habitual ways of living. In yoga, these deep habit patterns are called samskaras. When I first learned about these deeply rooted patterns, I became frustrated. How on earth can you shift samskaras that could have been reinforced since childhood!? Well, according to the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali, the answer is abhyasa and vairagya, practice and non-attachment. If we are persistent and can disconnect with the negative, we can create newer, more positive connections.
Now that we know how powerful our actions are, can we find a way to be more conscious and understanding when it comes to our decision-making process. Can we understand the significance in our seemingly simple decisions? Habitual living is easy, and often times necessary. But can we take a step back sometimes and pause before making our decisions? Possibly taking note of the root, any patterns, or underlying emotions. With a more conscious approach towards our decision-making process, we can open a door that allows us to better serve body/mind and truly tap into understanding our needs. Through this, there is no need for the body to breakdown, no need for an internal alarm to ring.
If you are interested in learning more about a holistic way of living, check out the link below for “The Simple Guide to Holistic Healing.” In this quick and attainable guide, the talented Meryl Yecies explains her journey with an autoimmune disease and how she healed her body though a mental shift and a holistic approach.