Updated: Sep 11
You will become healthier, wealthier and wiser!
A scientific study proved that, by simply writing about your hidden bottled up feelings will make you healthier.
Psychologist James Pennebaker started to conduct experiments in the late 1980’s and got groups of people to write about the most traumatic experiences in their life and the in depth feelings they felt in those experiences - 15 Minutes a day for 4-5 days. The behavioral, mental and emotional outcomes were compared against a control group who did the same but only wrote about superficial experiences. What he discovered was that only the group that expressed their trauma, gained significantly improved health.
Further studies showed this could also apply to improved grades at college, better social engagement, better cognitive abilities and more success in the job market. Interestingly, Pennebaker’s findings also highlighted that secretive behaviour such as eating disorders in many cases occurred in people with an unexpressed trauma that had to be kept secret (due to social shame, for example).
These findings very much confirm what homeopathy sets out to do, which is to identify and treat unresolved and unexpressed feelings, which is usually at the root of many long-term health problems. When you start to look at health holistically (i.e. the mind and body are two sides of the same coin), illness is not some random event due to a ‘faulty body’, but the body expressing that which the mind cannot fully acknowledge.
What you can’t express, expresses itself through you
- through physical illness and dysfunctional behaviors.
This is therefore an exercise, as detailed in the description, that I recommend to many of my clients who display buried unexpressed feelings that are now clouding their vision to see what is possible and available to them in their current reality. The emotional charges are literally warping the lens through which you look at the world and making it seem less inviting, exciting and new. This was evidenced by the students being able to find better opportunities in their lives.
My caveat to this exercise is that you must make sure that you don't relive those experience, apart from the moment you write them down to discharge them. Otherwise it takes you back into that reality and activates any problems.
Moving forward, after you've wiped the slate clean with this exercise...
So how can we avoid illness before it even starts? By getting in touch with how we really feel about things, through unflinching honesty with yourself. This is at the heart of the Elements of Truth - "Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free"!
We live in a world, where we are invited to avoid the truth, either because we are scared of the potential horror of it, and/or the pain and inconvenience it will cause to ourselves and others. Our brains, that are designed to control and manage life to ensure survival, are wired up to run away from pain, and run towards pleasure. We then gloss things over or sweep things under the carpet in the hope of out of sight, out of mind.
BUT....the body and your behaviour will keep reminding you of this proverbial monster that you've locked in the cupboard! Many auto immune diseases are connected with this internal conflict that has been set up: you're no longer facing those demons with the mind where you can thrash it out and feel and move on, so the body has to live out that internalised and unresolved battle inside it - this is called "somatising" dis-ease. This system therefore attacks the body itself and makes it a physical warzone. The result of this is depletion in energy, inspiration, and physical break-down, and we call it lazyness (which at some point the mind will critise ourselves for which adds to the fuel of the war inside).
The easiest way to do this is to check in with yourself regularly “how do I feel about this?” – just the acknowledgment itself is enough to make things better.
This is also a helpful strategy for parents when their children are expressing difficulties – rather than try and distract them from it, invite them to explore and express how they feel. Our feelings are actually quite useful to us as they can become the vehicle to change things in our life that no longer works for us. See another Elements of Truth blog post "Let your Heart be your GPS".
To hear a recent radio programme about James Pennebaker click here