Soul Embodied class

When you first think about the years of painful periods you’ve been experiencing or your sudden acne breakout, you may not think about your mental and emotional wellbeing. You may think, “it was all of the greasy food I ate or painful periods are normal.” However, painful periods are not normal; and while greasy food may be a contributing factor, it is likely that there is something deeper creating these symptoms. 


Dr. Gabor Mate is an influential writer on how our psychological well being contributes to our physical health. In his book, “The Body Says No”, he writes about how: 


 In 1895 an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine declared “it is time to acknowledge that our belief in disease as a direct reflection of mental state is largely folklore.” We see now, in modern literature, that this dismissal of our mental states influencing our physical well-being is no longer deniable. [1]


Dr. Mate goes on to talk about how our daily life affects our immune system. 


When we are isolated from others and stressed, studies show that we have lower immune responses. Both of these states created an emotional response that releases electrical, chemical and hormonal discharge into our nervous system. This response influences our organs just like how our physical wellbeing influences our emotional responses. A body that once fought off disease may now start attacking itself. [1]


So what can we do to increase our sense of connection to others and reduce our stress? There are many things we can do like:


  • Get enough exercise

  • Spend time with those we care about

  • Eat whole foods

  • Spend time in nature

  • Find a work-life balance

  • Make time for leisure activities 

  • Get the rest you need

But something that cannot be overlooked is the importance of understanding our emotional responses to our daily life. When our boss comes and tells us we need to redo a report, do we fall down a tunnel of feelings of unworthiness? Or do we know we did the best we could and inquire with curiosity to what was missing from the report? 

Both of these responses have completely different physiological responses in our bodies. The first is likely to release a stress response while the second is likely not going to. When we are able to understand our emotions, we are less likely to shut them down and be unknowingly controlled by them. Each emotion we experience is an opportunity to better understand ourselves and heal. 


Internal Family Systems is a therapeutic approach that can be used to better understand our internal landscape. Click here to learn more about IFS Coaching



[1]. Mate, G. (2003). When the body says no: The cost of hidden stress. A.A. Knopf Canada.