One of the most powerful tools for creating and maintaining health is to focus on health.
And yet, almost no one does that.
When you’re in pain, or worried about getting sick, it’s natural to focus a lot of your time and energy on getting rid of pain or protecting yourself from getting sick.
It’s actually the main focus of our western medical model.
To some extent this is natural and even necessary, but it’s important not to let the focus on protecting yourself be the only thing you focus on.
In fact, if you want to create health, vitality, safety, joy, and well-being, it’s important to focus on those things MORE than disease prevention or pain relief.
Right now, news of covid-19 is everywhere. We’re in the midst of a pandemic, and we’re working to reduce its spread to save lives. It’s inevitable that we are focused on that.
While it’s important to stay informed and follow public health guidelines it’s equally important on an individual level, to find ways to focus MORE on cultivating health and well-being (love, ease, joy, and vitality) than on protecting yourself from getting sick.
Of course you need to practice social distancing, stay home as much as possible, wash your hands, and use hand sanitizer. That’s a given.
But beyond that, and even while you’re doing those things, choosing to focus on love, health and well-being (for yourself and others) will make a big difference in how you feel, and as a result on how much health and well-being you experience.
Choosing to focus on health and vitality impacts your brain and body in ways that create health and vitality.
“What you think, you become.
What you feel, you attract.
What you imagine, you create.”
I have been helping women relieve vulvodynia and other types of chronic pelvic pain for 10 years. During this time I’ve seen over and over that women who relieve their pain and heal their body the most quickly are the ones who are able to consistently practice shifting their focus and attention off of their pain, and onto things like connecting with their body, feeling emotions, doing things they enjoy, and bringing pleasure back into their life.
There is so much research now, in the fields of neuroscience, positive psychology and mind body medicine that shows that turning your attention towards what you want to create improves health.
Your focus and thoughts impact your nervous system, brain, immune system, the levels of tension in your body, hormone balance and energy flow.
All of these things impact your health.
So, the question is, when you’re in the midst of something that is triggering fear, that seems impossible not to pay attention to (like covid-19 or chronic pain or both), how do you get your attention onto health?
Here’s what I’ve been doing, and what I’ve been helping my clients do for the past couple weeks. Each of these tips is helpful on its own, and they are more effective all together.
Choose one to start with and add the others when you’re ready.
1) Create a plan to prioritize your health and wellness.
This might include eating lots of fruits and veggies, getting plenty of sleep, doing some type of movement or exercise every day that you enjoy, and making time for fun, pleasure, and connection. Play with your kids, partner or pets (on zoom or in person), get outside everyday if you can, draw or paint if you love that, listen to music.
All of these things are proven to contribute to optimal health and well-being, and are more important than ever right now.
If you do get covid-19 you’ll have the best possible chance of recovering easily.
My number one priority the past two weeks has been self care through lots of healthy food, rest, downtime, exercise, and doing things I enjoy.
2) Fill Yourself Up with Vibrant, Radiant Energy
A couple weeks ago I wrote about choosing love over fear, and included a practice for filling yourself up with love. You can use a similar practice to fill your body up with health!
Think about things that represent health and vitality to you. I usually imagine places in nature – rushing waterfalls, green trees, vibrant colorful flowers, warm sunshine, crashing waves.
One of my favorite spots is a waterfall near our home. When I close my eyes I can recall the sounds of the water, the smell of the air, and the feeling of the place – its energy.
What is your favorite place in nature? How does it feel to be there?
Take some time to consider this. Recall the sounds and smells. Feel the air on your skin and the energy surrounding you. Can you imagine how you feel when you are there?
Once you connect to that feeling invite it into your body. Fill your belly, heart, pelvis, legs, feet, arms, neck, and head with the vibrant energy and aliveness of this place…and anything else that feels vibrant, alive, and healthy to you.
You can imagine filling your pelvis with blooming flowers, your heart with a waterfall, and your belly with warm rays of sunshine.
Take time to bask in this energy. Notice how it feels in your body.
Note: if this is hard to do, or you find yourself thinking too much to settle into your body, back up a step and work with your thoughts first. Then if you like, come back and try this again.
3) Make time for a Mind Body Practice
One of the mind body practices that I teach in my Healing Female Pain course is The Daily Connection Ritual. I call it this is because it is a daily practice designed to help you move from dissociation and disconnection back into connection with your body, emotions, and soul.
Getting present with your body, welcoming your emotional energy, and accessing your inner wisdom brings your system into balance, calms down your nervous system and can remind you that no matter what, all is well. All of this contributes to health and well-being.
The messages I’ve been hearing as I access my emotional wisdom this week have consistently and overwhelmingly been messages of love, safety, possibility, and well-being. Getting present with my body and soul always reassures me that I am safe, that all is well, and that there is a bigger perspective.
My clients and the women in my programs have been hearing similar messages during their mind body practice time. Here is a sample of what they have shared with me this week…
“You don’t need to worry. You are absolutely safe!”
“Let go. Allow. All is well.”
“You are safe. Focus on love.”
“Rest. Breathe. Nourish. Exercise. Play. Laugh. Surrender to the Journey.”
Make some time every day to connect to all the parts of you. When your lizard brain is making negative predictions, a mind body practice can bring you back into balance and connect you to your intuition and bigger perspective.
Remember, focusing on health creates health.
Whatever else you are doing right now, I invite you to make time to cultivate and care for your well-being – spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.
You deserve that.
PS. In order to support you during this uncertain time, I’m offering a HUGE discount (over 50%) on my Healing Female Pain Program. This program has helped hundreds of women not only relieve anxiety and pelvic pain, but cultivate safety, health and well-being in their body. There couldn’t be a more perfect time to learn and use these mind body tools! As one of the participants in the course shared last week, “I feel so fortunate to be in this group at this time.”