Written by Nick Polizzi
Ancient cultures believed that the health of our mind and spirit has a big impact on what occurs in the physical world around us... and modern science now agrees.
One way to look at it is that “thoughts create chemicals” inside us. So the ways you think about your life, your relationships and your world profoundly affect your mental health and – by extension – your physical health.
Most of us know what a relief it can be to “get things off your chest.” But as ancient humans understood, the healing power of story goes much further and deeper than that.
When you express, in words, the deepest feelings and stories of your life, something miraculous occurs. Speaking your truth soothes your nervous system, releasing hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, nitric oxide, and endorphins, which are agents of bodily repair and pleasant feelings!
Once your nervous system is relaxed, you can rest well, fight illness, and focus on living your best life. You can release relationship pressures, break unhealthy cycles, and clarify your purpose.
According to Dr. Suzanne Koven (a highly regarded internal medicine practitioner and published medical writer) of Harvard School of Medicine, stories are central to medicine.
There is even a new type of medical therapy called Narrative Medicine. The patient is encouraged to talk about his or her job, romantic relationships, family ties, and sense of purpose in life, and only then does the discussion come around to physical health.
This is how you get to the root of illness. “Aha!” moments arise from telling your stories, helping the pathways to health and happiness come clearer into view.
Healing is not always an obvious process. But when you take the time to connect with who you really are and what your heart is trying to tell you, you might just feel a fundamental shift in your body and spirit.
A great starting point is to ask yourself these 5 questions:
- What is preventing me from being peaceful / happy in this moment? (If it’s something material, what feeling of relief would that thing bring me?)
- When is the last time I put myself outside my comfort zone? What was it, and what was my motivation for doing it?
- What is one difficult conversation that I’ve been putting off having with my spouse, best friend, or close family member (mother, father, sibling)?
- What is one difficult conversation that I’ve been putting off having with myself?
- Years from now, when I’m breathing my final breaths, what advice would this future me give the now me?
Knowing the truth of what is holding you back – right in this moment – is a critical step on the path of self-empowerment. It takes a little bit of bravery to go there, but it’s well worth it!
Host of Healing Kitchen: Let Food Be Thy Medicine
& Founder of The Sacred Science
Nick Polizzi is the founder of The Sacred Science, a website and blog dedicated to explorations of alternative healing modalities and indigenous healing traditions. His work stems from a calling to honor, preserve and protect the ancient knowledge and rituals of indigenous peoples around the world. He has spent his career directing and producing feature-length documentaries about holistic alternatives to conventional medicine. His work illustrates the power we humans possess to overcome the many challenges that life can bring when we own our truth.
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