Acknowledging the power of the mind-body connection is a fundamental concept in tension myositis syndrome (TMS), also known as the mind-body syndrome. The core idea behind the mind-body connection is that the body and the mind influence one another. Biological processes impact thoughts and feelings, while thoughts can wreak havoc on the state of the body. That is why it is so important to remember that thoughts are just thoughts. Otherwise, your thoughts can lead your body into dangerous circumstances. Below are some of the dangers which may apply for those who forget thoughts are just thoughts.

Immune System Suppression

A study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism has shown that thoughts — psychological stress — affects catecholamine levels. Catecholamines include various neurotransmitters (epinephrine, dopamine and norepinephrine). When stress sends a message to these neurotransmitters, the body readies for danger. Often, to ready for fight or flight, the body will raise blood pressure in order to respond faster to danger. With constant stress, the body may keep blood pressure high too often, leading to chronic elevations in catecholamine levels, which suppresses the immune system. This, in turn, raises the risk of viral infection or disease if suppressed for too long.

As such, your thoughts, your psychological stress, your repressed emotions, while trying to help you ward off danger, may actually increase your chances of infection or disease. How you think and feel can directly impact your health.

Decreased Lifespan

Researchers in San Diego conducted a study, published in The Lancet, where they looked through the death records of nearly 430,000 people, 30,000 of them Chinese-Americans and 400,000 of them identified as “white” on their death certificate. The results showed that Chinese-Americans died significantly earlier than normal – up to five years! – if they had a combination of disease and a birth year considered ill-fated by Chinese astrology and medicine. When the researchers combed through the data, they realized the reduced life expectancy was tied to Chinese traditions, not any other variable. The Chinese-Americans believed the stars had hexed them from birth, and their negative beliefs manifested as a reduced lifespan. The more strongly someone believed in the birth year hex, the more years of life were lost.

This example shows just how powerful the mind can be. Thinking they were “supposed to be” ill led to them actually becoming ill, much faster than both lesser-believers and white people experienced. The mind can impact the body — the mind-body connection is real and can cause significant damage if left unbalanced.

Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS)

TMS, also known as the mind-body syndrome, is caused when your mind believes you have some trauma or negative emotions which you cannot emotionally handle. The mind represses these painful memories and instead gives you pain in other places and in other forms to distract you from the root cause of your emotional turbulence. The pain can be so excruciating and last for so long, that that chronic pain may take away the pain-free life you once loved. In order to get back your pain-free life again, you need to get all the repressed emotions out of your mind. They are ultimately causing you pain.

Reprogram Your Mind

When you remember that your thoughts are just thoughts, you can train your brain to react differently to stress. That, in turn, will affect your body differently, possibly preventing immune system suppression and even decreased lifespan.

To take back control and reprogram your mind you need to discover what are the points which are giving you pain. Find the source of your pain and then explore every single dark corner. Use journaling to get the thoughts out. Draw it all out. Like sucking poison from a snake bite, you need to try and get as much of it out of your mind as possible. Write it down, talk about it out loud, talk to yourself about it in the mirror. Cry, scream or punch some pillows. You can also use talkback in order to train your brain not to repress your painful emotions. You need to reprogram your mind so that emotions are dealt with as they happen, not stored away, causing more TMS pain later. A healthier mind can lead to a healthier body.

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