If we don’t live in the body, we don’t live. — Dr. Gabor Maté
In personal development circles there’s a lot of attention paid to “mindset” and what we think.
Our thoughts can create our reality. What we speak and how we speak, even to ourselves, matters.
We become what we think.
The typical approach to rewiring negative thoughts is to create and train new thoughts.
Recite affirmations and incantations and positive mantras.
All of this is important.
It’s also incomplete.
The mind/body connection is a two way street.
Less attention is given to the other part of the equation, the communication that flows from the body to the mind.
Every emotion and thought lives in the body and contributes to how we use our bodies.
We develop ways of organizing our bodies for different activities: sitting, standing, working, cooking, writing, running, walking, driving, and so on.
You might think of these as movement strategies. How you sit in a chair is a movement strategy. How you walk up the stairs is a movement strategy.
How you breathe is a movement strategy.
These strategies become habits: unconscious ways of moving through life.
We are often unaware of them on a conscious level — that’s what makes them habits.
These movement habits reveal patterns of where our bodies grip and contract, revealing the emotions and thoughts that linger beneath the surface.
Our bodies send messages about these emotions and thoughts to our brains.
A few years ago I learned that my mind and body were in a fear feedback loop. No matter how hard I tried to rewire anxious thoughts with positive thoughts, it didn’t work. Without making changes to my body, my body sent fear signals back to my brain.
Everything we experience, think, and believe lives in the body.
Positive thinking won’t work without physical retraining.
If you want to change your mind you must also change your physiology.
it’s all embodied
every emotion and thought
reside within you