Are you showing signs of burnout?
Muscle tension, Hypertension, Poor Immune / Easy to Get Sick, Weight Gain
Getting my certification in hypnosis, focused on therapy and specifically smoking cessation, there was a deep level of learning and appreciation required around the Mind Body connection.
What is the the mind-body connection? Simply defined, thoughts affect things - specifically your physical body.
Now it sounds quite intuitive because it is. It’s always on and we make use of this natural phenomenon all the time without needing to think about it.
Have you ever watched a scary movie and felt anxious and colder? A romantic comedy or Disney cartoon and at the end felt the warm and fuzzies? Held your breath when characters re drowning in water? Have you read a book and felt a little warmer than usually in a steamy scene?
Well let me share with you, it isn’t the pages and ink in the book, nor the pictures and sounds on the movie or TV screen that makes that happen.
When we get those signals - those suggestions, we cognitively process it and internalize it triggering the associated emotions and physical reactions.
At the unconscious level, whether imaginary, on a movie screen or book, or in real life, it treats it as all the same.
It’s a really powerful concept because we can use it with many positive applications from improving your reading, encouraging healing to even improving athletic performance.
Now, what happens if they are negative associations?
For all its benefits, it can also have equally detrimental qualities.
When you worry about the future and dwell on a negative past experience - the unconscious mind experiences it as a moment in now and will create the same physical characteristics.
That’s why in our practice of NLP, we don’t have you relive your memories or subscribe to sensitizing yourself to past negative experiences.
So when you think about physical responses like muscle tension, it’s an effect that stems from a stressor, whether physically or even in the mind.
We say things like: carrying the weight of the world, bearing the burden on my shoulders, taking responsibility
You effectively objectify a mental construct - responsibility; and your unconscious mind will have you feel like you’re carrying it like a bag of groceries.
And unlike groceries when your arms get tired you put it down, many of us identify with our responsibilities and burdens and don’t want to let it go. It defines who you are right?
And so, on this path burnout, where you exert more energy out than you can recover…
It manifests as a physical ailment. It can manifest as hypertension - your mind is tricked into believing it’s always fighting and defending itself from something.
Now the real question many people ask me then is, well if I can just put down a bag of groceries, why can’t I just put down my stressors and responsibilities? Then it will all go away right?
The short answer is, that’s right!
Burnout is actually very simple to turn around - the most powerful step is releasing limiting beliefs, decisions and emotional baggage and clients come out feeling relieved and liberated! It’s re-establishing your unconscious mind with who are are and want to become at a deeper level when it comes to expressing your potential.
The challenge is, it’s not as easy as consciously commanding it away… otherwise we would just think ourselves to quit smoking, drink more water, get more exercise and relax right?
The reality is while our conscious minds are powerful in helping us rationalize, solve problems and intelligently consider our options…
It’s our unconscious mind - our habits, that do all the action. You don’t have tell your heart to beat a certain way, for you to brush your teeth in the morning a certain way, or count with your fingers every time you do math right?
That’s why change is more difficult, and why installing good habits and strategies are pretty crucial.
Now let’s try on something like a lowered immune system - or its effect, getting sick easily with this concept.
The simple question is, can stress cause illness?
It boils down to factors like inflammation and an unhealthy environment for your immune system to function poorly.
Imagine me asking you to perform at your best craft and throwing you in the middle of a mental, emotional and physical battlefield. Healthy and safe working conditions are important!
The other factor is disease and viruses love these stressed out acidic environments; remember, our bodies are also ecosystems of its own.
So when it comes to the mind-body connection, your negative thinking and outlook on life turns into an unconscious habit after repeating itself over again enough times… negatively becomes a natural reflex and it becomes a breeding ground for viruses, diseases and the like.
How about weight gain from the perspective of burnout?
It comes down again to stress.
Our bodies don’t like stress and while we strive to solve the root problems of it more effectively with the processes of mindfulness…
In the short term, food - or more specifically sugar, relieves us of stress quickly. It’s a fast band-aid… like Tylenol or Advil for a headache
Now, compound that with long-term stress with a continuous and convenient short term solution, and very quickly it can lead to weight, toxicity and obesity problems when out of control.
Now with poor physical health, it makes it even harder to cope with mental and emotional stresses and why that eventually can lead to the strokes and heart attacks that stops you hard in the tracks on your path of burnout.
Other physical substances - what I like to call convenient substances; caffeine, drugs, smoking, alcohol, marijuana etc., that lead you down dark addictive rabbit holes that have their own tragic endings like adrenal exhaustion, overdoses, cancer, heart disease, strokes, depression, etc.
Ultimately, the goal then is to use your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) as little as possible and your parasympathetic system (recovery) as your default.
(Yes, there is a choice)
From there build on the healthy habits and strategies to perform effectively; this is where the foundation of meaningful work lies.