Why Are You Sick?
I spent the last few days with what was either the flu, norovirus or some other illness I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Not “feel-good living”.
A few days prior, I began reading You Are What You Say: A Harvard Doctor’s Six-Step Proven Program for Transforming Stress Through the Power of Language by Matthew Budd, MD and Larry Rothstein, Ed.D.
In the first chapter the author (Dr. Budd) describes his experience at a “transformational life” weekend workshop, of which he was initially skeptical.
As the seminar leader shouts out the ground rules, some as strict as “don’t speak until called upon”, the author notices a women start to cough and wheeze. She’s having what appears to be an asthma attack. As he approaches to help, she yells to the leader, “Don’t tell me what to do!” Long story short: Turns out the seminar leader reminded this woman of her father. After this realization, she sat in her chair sobbing, releasing the old emotions. Her coughing and wheezing ceased and her breath returned to normal. (for more details, read the book!)
He was reminded of a day from his youth when he came home from school not feeling well. When he arrived home his grandmother asked, “Why are you sick?” Several minutes passed before he broke down explaining that he was bullied during an after school baseball game. After “sipping soup” and sleeping for 4 hours, he awoke feeling much better and ready to play ball again.
Could our emotions create our sickness?
My education and training in practices like Reiki, Yoga and other holistic healing methods lead me to say yes, our emotions can make us sick, on a large or small scale. For example, have you ever had to present a talk to a group, felt fine all day, and suddenly, minutes before you’re up to speak you start coughing? No sign of a cough all day?
As I pondered this question, “Why am I sick?” for myself, two answers immediately came to mind, both stress-related. One theory had to do with my recent eating habits and another about my need to do too many things at once.
It’s no secret that stress is linked to various illnesses. So why couldn’t my recent attack be stress induced? It’s a hard thing to swallow, isn’t it? To think we “do” this to ourselves. And yet, if we do, does that mean we can “undo” it? Powerful thought.
I look forward to reading more in Dr. Budd’s book about emotions, stress and illness and doing some research on my own. But in the meantime, I throw the question out to you to get you thinking a little and to start the conversation.
Have you ever wondered, “Why am I sick?
What do you think about the link between stress and illness? Do you believe in it?