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Western society tells us the mind and body are separate, but ancient wisdom reminds us that they are one.
When you think of issues in your body, do you automatically think of your emotions too? I do.
We have emotional receptors located throughout our body. Every joy, pain, regret and trauma we have ever experienced is stored in our bodies–in the memories of our cells.
All ancient philosophers agreed on one thing: we become what we think about. Contrary to popular belief, our thoughts are things. Our thoughts have energy and take up physical real estate in our brains.
Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Ponder that for a minute. You are what you think. How would the thoughts you allow to stay in your mind change if you actually believed that? Would you choose thoughts that lead you toward death and destruction or thoughts that are life-giving?
Which thoughts will you choose to build the foundation of your life upon?
What Are Emotions?
Our thoughts are connected to our emotions, and our emotions are signals. When we feel an emotion, it is telling us something about a situation. If your emotions are uncomfortable, maybe there is something you dislike or something you are afraid to acknowledge about the situation.
When you feel good, maybe you’re thinking about all the wonderful things you are going to do in the world. Or the yummy meal you made for dinner last night! Whether good or bad, your thoughts are your body’s way of alerting you to pay attention to something. Emotions are an invaluable source of information!
Emotion is the language of our cells. Emotions are energy in motion (e-motion), and we can use that energy to our benefit by choosing what we feel.
How awesome is that?! Our bodies are beautifully designed to tell us everything we need to know, and are minds are designed to be able to choose what we feel! So often we fight with our emotions and wrestle against them – even denying that they are there. Instead, we should recognize the important information that our emotions are giving us, and then use that information to work through whatever is being stirred up. Then, we can choose to feel a different way.
Most of us have grown up in a culture where emotions were not acknowledged. They were neither validated nor allowed to be expressed. Unfortunately for us, this type of relationship with our emotions affects us later on in life. Soon we find ourselves in situations we didn’t know how we got into, or we are left feeling dissatisfied and confused.
But, once we understand what a gift our emotions are to us, so much freedom and growth is available to us!
How Emotions Work in the Body
Have you ever tried eating a meal while in an emotionally disturbed state? Chances are your meal didn’t sit right, if you were able to eat at all. That’s an example of an immediate effect of emotions on the body, but many of the effects don’t show up right away.
When we ignore our emotions, we start becoming numb to them! But suppressing our emotions just buries them somewhere in our body. We may gain weight, we may feel physical pain, or we may develop an auto-immune disorder.
When feelings go unacknowledged for a long period of time and our desires are not being met, we experience a sense of dis-ease in the body. Our bodies break down, our mental health suffers, and we start to get sick more often. Our creative energy is no longer free to express itself – it feels stuck or stagnant.
When this happens, it means we are ignoring our true feelings, and we need to slow down to be honest with ourselves. If we ignore our feelings for a long time without making any changes and we harbour resentment, grief, trauma and anger, it eats away at our body.
In Chinese medicine, they believe each organ houses a corresponding emotion. This is how intimately our mind is connected with our body. When we feel something, all of us feels it.
Tools for Healing
Louise Hay wrote a popular book titled ‘Heal Your Body’. Her work was based on her sessions with clients. From her insights, she wrote a book of physical ailments and their emotional/mental roots. You can view the list of symptoms and thoughts related to them here. Purchase Louise Hay’s book here.
Here are some examples:
Arthritis – Feeling unloved. Criticism, resentment, bitterness. Feeling not good enough.
Affirmation: I am loved. I now choose to love and approve of myself. I see others with love
Back – Represents the support of life.
Affirmation: I know that God always supports me.
Blood – Represents joy in the body, flowing freely.
Affirmation: I have joy in life; I can both express and receive joy.
As you can see, thoughts and emotions can be linked to the physical symptoms that a person may be experiencing. If this concept is new to you, keep an open mind and pray to ask God if your physical and/or mental dis-ease has an emotional root or a connection to your thought life.
dōTERRA created an emotional wheel to help you identify how to support your emotions.
When you are feeling a certain emotion, you can choose to diffuse or apply an essential oil that will help balance that.
Essential oils are powerful tools for emotional support! The strongest and most direct connection we have to our emotional brain is through our sense of smell. It’s incredible how God created us to be so profoundly impacted by our sense of smell, and essential oils are the perfect, pure tool to use that sense to its fullest potential.
If you are feeling gloomy, discouraged, or disconnected you would use a citrus based oil to help shift. If you are feeling insecure, use a mint based oil like peppermint.
Each group of oils is high in certain chemical constituents that have a specific effect on the body. The limbic system produces a distinct response to an aroma based on memories that are associated with the particular smell, creating a rush of feelings.
Essential oils can produce responses that can be used to enhance well-being and manage emotions. I use oils regularly to help with different emotions so I can cope with life better. I find one of the best ways to get sustained support with essential oils is to use them in a diffuser.
You may now realize that our thoughts and emotions have more of an impact on our reality than you once believed. That’s why it’s so important to make space for all of our emotions: anger, jealousy, sadness, fear. As you experience your emotions, if you are distressed by what you are feeling, take time to discern what is the root of that negative emotion. Once you know the root, you can pray and seek help to pull the root up. Then, you can declare the truth over yourself and CHOOSE a new feeling.
Your emotions are powerful sources of information, but they are poor guides. Create a healthy relationship with your emotions and, with God’s help, take back your power to steer yourself to your God-given destiny.