I really found myself nodding enthusiastically through a recent blog post from Jordan and Steve at SCD Lifestyle. They acknowledge that everyone makes some common ‘mistakes’ (I hesitate to use that word myself, actually) when they are trying to heal. They focus here on healing gut issues as that’s what they had themselves, but you can apply these five to any kind of healing, I think.
The one, as you know, that I am focused on myself in our TGF world is number 5.
Mistake #5 – Thinking This Isn’t Also Psychological
As S & J say in their post, many of us resist this idea – not least because we have had ‘it’s all in your head’ shoved down our throats enough times! However, I wish I had accepted this idea a lot sooner than I have – it took me about 8 years, oops! – because I now believe that healing has to come from both physiological and psychological sides combined. Of course, I knew that on one level but I never really did much about it in any formalised or consistent way.
Too often, we are so focused on the biology and pathology of our illness that we lose sight of the psychological side. Sure, we know we feel anxious and depressed because of how we feel – but have we considered the, often hidden, psychological causes underpinning some of our chronic symptoms? Have we considered the impact of thoughts and beliefs in our illness? Can we turn our attention to the illness, accept it and stop fearing it so much, thus calming the amygdala down and, ironically helping to calm symptoms?
It’s tough to do, I know, but it has to be a part of the healing ‘journey’ in my view. It takes time, commitment and determination to do – this is no walk in the park with a few ‘positive’ thoughts here and there. This is consistent, calming and brain changing neuroplasticity encouragement.
In fact, on that point, there is a fascinating documentary based on the work of Norman Doidge, he who wrote The Brain That Changes Itself. If you need more knowledge or trust in this area of why brain work is so important, do watch it: it will truly blow your mind! It’s a bit over-produced for my liking as a staid Brit (!), but the message it gives you is very hopeful and, for me, that message was game-changing.
I realised, for the first time, that my brain patterns and reactions were not set in stone. If I could somehow get my brain to see food as non-threatening again, or simply calm my reactivity down somehow, that had to be helpful in healing. That’s what I am working on anyway. Who knows if it will work – this is not a short job I am discovering! But, as I write, I have had no migraine reactions for almost 2 months, which is astounding – that’s gone from about 2-3 a month. Sure, I’ve got other symptoms going on but that is a big one. I SO hope it is a positive sign of healing and I have everything crossed!
Here’s the video for you:
Anyway, do have a read of the post here and do read my Healing Series (from the oldest to newest post preferably) if you haven’t already. I promise: at some point, you will need some of this advice – when you’re ready for it. And I hope it takes fewer than 8 years for you!