Your psychological immune system

Image: Joshua Munoz

When you get a cut or a bruise, your body goes to work in all sorts of mysterious ways to heal itself — all without you even knowing about it. You don’t have to consciously work to create new skin cells, attack the virus, or bring down the swelling. Your job is to stay out of your system’s way and not cause it any more undue stress so it can do its thang. Chicken wang (sorry, I couldn’t resist)…

If you take a pair of pliers in your right hand and squeeze your left index finger with them (because, why not?) you will experience pain. Slight at first and ever-increasing the more damage you inflict on your digit. This is your body’s way of letting you know that you’re pushing it.

It’s an intelligent system that has kept the human species alive for millennia.

Our psyche works the same way on the mental level as our body works on the physical level. Just as we receive pain signals to let us know when our physical well-being is under threat, we also receive signals that wake us up when our thinking becomes misaligned with our greater good.

Understanding our psychological immune system allows us to live with a deeper reassurance knowing that our mind heals just as a flesh wound does.

When we’re mad, sad, apathetic, depressed, etc. — this isn’t just ‘the way it is’. It’s not real. It’s like a psychological warning light going off that’s alerting us that something’s not right in Denmark. The sooner we can recognize it, the easier it is to allow those thoughts to express and pass so we can get back into a state of well-being.

The cool thing is, just like our physical body, when we experience an emotional wound, we don’t have to ‘do anything’ to heal it (although sometimes, a little mental antiseptic or some emotional sutures help). We just get things cleaned up/wrapped up/stitched up and sure as the sun shines, our mental flesh wound will be replaced by fresh, new thinking via our psychological immune system.

Our job is not to do the healing. Our job is more of a passive one — to not rub more dirt into our wounds. To stop re-opening the laceration.

Unfortunately, we often ignore the warning lights. We keep going and add to our injuries through more and more painful thinking. If we’re lucky/aware enough, when life brings us to our knees, we finally wake up to the fact that we need to stop the battle and allow this greater Force to take over. But sometimes, we don’t… This is our part. To notice when it hurts, and allow the healing process to begin.

I’m Jonas Ellison — a motivational messenger and transformative guide who writes daily here on Medium. To get my short vignettes in your inbox every day, click here.

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