We place a tremendous amount of trust in our bodies ability to communicate with us. It sends us signals when we experience something good, and obvious indications when something is not. It has the ability to tell us what it needs and when it needs it. Hunger is a reminder, exhaustion is an indication and discomfort is signal. Pleasure, pain and every sensation in between provides a similar function, sending us constant feedback about the physical state of our frame. ‘Listen to your body’ is a statement aforementioned by many due to the truth behind it. Each of us possesses our own unique needs, and nobody can truly understand and communicate these physical assertions better than ourselves.
The presence of this intuitive operating system is a concept we have been taught from day one. We instinctively know which sensations are good and bad, and learn the others early on. These indicators have come to be simple truths in our minds. Realities we trust and rely on. When discussing this incredible function of our bodies, I find it interesting that we often neglect one of the most important elements of what it means to be human; our mind. We listen to our bodies, as though they speak to us in the form of irrefutable truths, though we immediately overlook negative thoughts and emotions as illness, disease, or troubles that we must simply neglect. I for one, believe this to be a completely misguided approach to understanding the power of the human mind and what our thoughts are trying to tell us. Just like the powerful sensations of our body, these emotions are absolutely purposeful, and serve an important function that we rarely consider.
We live in a world where more times that not, medical treatment serves to cure the symptoms of an illness, not the cause. This is especially the case with mental distress. We label each symptom with careful consideration, diagnosing troubles before we even understand what exactly their source is. While this approach may absolve problems for some people, I want to bring attention to an alternate perspective. A perspective that is much less demonizing toward our mind and the way it acts when we are not necessarily in control.
Perhaps this form of emotional feeling is in fact meant to serve the exact same purpose as the physical sensations of our body. Maybe our thoughts and emotions are simply here to indicate something important to us. To signify whether we are making the right choices about our lifestyle, our habits and our priorities. I believe it is quite possible that these feelings are nothing more than natures intelligent way of indicating to us that we are out of alignment, that we are disconnected from critical aspects of our being that we personally require to be at our best. These aspects include: meaningful work, social connection, passion, health, purpose and even nature. Just as our bodies bruise when they experience an injury, our minds experience a similar trauma. It is quite obvious to me that wrongful living certainly does not possess the ability for righteous thought. Instead of demonizing or succumbing to the mental patterns in cycle throughout our mind, we should approach them from a stance of observation. Negative emotions possess an incredible opportunity for awareness. Often times they are the wake up call many of us need, reminding us to prioritize elements of life that truly contribute to our happiness and ignore those that do not. They are a chance to self analyze, to change, to grow beyond our old version into a more self aware upgrade of who we once were.
“You are not the voice in your mind, but the one who is aware of it.” – Eckhart Tolle
What is it that your thoughts are trying to tell you? Are you happy? You must be doing something right. Are you frustrated? Maybe, you require a change of habit. This form of observational consciousness is both a skill and an art. In this way, the initiative of living well and mental mastery are one and the same.
Maybe, just maybe, there is nothing wrong with a negative thought. It was meant to be there, the key is understanding why. It is nothing more than a symptom of your life and the diagnosis is simple; how well are you living?