When I go through difficult times (failures, breakups, bouts of loneliness, a bad flare, etc), I want ice cream. And pizza. And cookies. And cheese. And wine, beer, whiskey. Society has effectively trained me to crave these “comfort” items when I’m down, paired with spending hours, days, weeks wasting away on the couch and binge-watching Netflix.
And during this latest flare, that’s exactly what I was tempted to do; however, I had started the Autoimmune Protocol a couple of weeks before and was determined to stay on track. Instead of reaching for the ice cream or pizza, I filled my body with nourishing foods like fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. Instead of lingering on the couch when I started to feel down, I leashed up my dog and went on a long walk to clear my head. Instead of getting lost in Netflix and staying up late, then sleeping in, I intentionally went to bed early and woke up with the sun, ensuring I spent most waking hours in daylight. Instead of shutting people out and sinking into a lonely abyss, I reached out to friends when I needed them and filled my days with activities and uplifting conversation.
It has been really interesting to see the change in my brain’s response to pain since I’ve made an active effort to be kind to my body. Indulging in certain comfort foods may seem appealing, but it makes you feel sluggish, which (thanks to the beloved biofeedback loop) makes you feel worse and affects your brain’s ability to recover emotionally. Then the cycle continues.
Who knew that being kind to your body could help your mind heal more quickly? I have been able to embrace the pain and achieve clarity. I’ve also been able to listen to both my body and mind more and give them what they need.
So, this is where the idea of Seeking Wellness through Disease originated. I was telling my best friend about my change in mindset and its impact on my healing process, and he summed it up perfectly for me in those four beautiful words.
Be kind to your body, and your mind will follow.