Have you ever been told that it's all in your mind? Or the symptoms you live with are all in your head?
These words can feel so disempowering, especially in the way the medical world may often talk about this. The reality is, that it's very true. Everything does begin in our minds and brains. Just not in the way we are often told and start to believe in a disempowering way. I passionately want to support you in understanding and changing this.
Our brains are very powerful and the mind / body connection is so very real. But we can actually feel empowered by this, when we understand what this really means and how we can then choose to support ourselves, through whatever it is that we live with, as holistic individuals.
Everything asks for a truly holistic approach, seeing every single person and every experience as part of a whole being. This is why true acknowledgement and compassion is such an essential part of healing for and amongst us all.
Pain does begin in the mind. Pain is an emotion. I actually believe that all the symptoms we have, are all emotions as we feel them all. Our brains control all of our feelings and emotions, and control our reactions and responses too. Not one is separate to another.
There are so many complicated medical and health terminology I could mention that I have learnt about or researched - for myself and for clients over the past years. But I'm not a a medical expert in any of this terminology. But I am an expert in the holistic way I see and understand things, knowing my own body so well and learning to listen to myself in every way. As a wellness practitioner, therapist, and holistic life coach, I have learnt so much through seeing hundreds of clients over the past 15 years, as well as living with a health condition of my own. All of this has given me the understanding of so much more, that's available within ourselves, to support and empower ourselves in a truly holistic and powerful way.
I know so deeply just how powerful the mind/ body connection is. I talk about this passionately with every single experience we face in life. Every single health condition and illness. Every single change and transition we process in our lives. Every single experience of pain and expression of symptoms we live with. Pain comes in many forms - we are all whole beings - mind, body, spirit are not separate but all connected.
Understanding how the brain is the control centre of everything, can give us a compassionate awareness and understanding of how we can manage things in the best possible way for ourselves, how we can feel educated and empowered throughout the whole journey, and be an active part of supporting ourselves to heal. Suffering isn't permanent and joy is possible. And I truly believe in this, through everything, as unique individuals.
All expressions of pain is in our minds. This is true. But it's not 'all in your head' in a dismissive and disempowering way. It actually makes complete sense, if we are compassionately given space to acknowledge really what this means, and the truth of all our lived experiences as unique individuals. When we are willing to understand this within ourselves, then it becomes so very empowering, and so powerful to make conscious choices and changes for ourselves.
I want to explain my simple way of 'it's in your brain' and how this makes sense to me. You see, I often think of the mind/ brain as an orchestra. I see all the instruments coming together and playing in harmony. When our mind/ brain receives some kind of signal or message that feels 'wrong' or a 'shock' or an 'alarm' - which can happen with a virus, illness, an emotional experience, trauma, grief, loss, an injury, and more - there are so many messages we can experience and the mind/ brain will 'react' to.
I use that word 'react' rather than 'respond', as this is what can happen. The brain 'reacts' and suddenly these beautiful instruments no longer know how to play together in harmony, but instead, they sound just as they do during a 'warm up'. They are all playing their own music in their own ways, or tuning up at different times. The environment has become one of 'dis-harmony' or 'dis-ease'. And so many messages and stimuli and expereinces can create this.
The mind/ brain 'reacts' rather than 'responds'. And I say this again as I often think about healthy relationships and healthy conversations. And how at times, these become 'unhealthy' when we are quick to 'react' to something with anger, fear or frustration, rather than to give ourselves space, to instead come from a place of calm and understanding, to 'respond' which brings openness and honesty to our relationships, and conversations, and creates a healthy environment for change.
I think about this orchestra often with how we experience all kinds of symptoms that we live with, and with all expressions of pain.
I think of our reactions to things, rather than our reponse, as a way our minds/ brains have learnt a pattern of behaviour that can create an environment of disharmony. And it's felt so empowering to me, as it does when I talk to others in this way, to understand this and to translate this to an awarenes within ourselves, to then move forward and make changes and choices to support ourselves to heal.
Pain is an emotion. All symptoms we feel are emotions. All physical sensations or any ways we feel things in our bodies, can be manifested or heightened through our thoughts, feelings, emotions, behaviours, and every single experience we live through in life.
There are many health conditions that can appear in our lives through periods of stress. This is a very simple example of just how connected we are as human beings. It's also true that we can often look back to a time of our life when any symptoms we might live with, first began. We can even look back and see links betweeen certain times or phases of life, all the feelings and emotions that were coming up for us, through it all at that time. Then with compassion, we can see and understand how what we might carry and hold onto, or how we see the ourselves and our beliefs around so many things, and how our minds/ brains have 'reacted', and over time, have kept reacting more so to all of these things. All parts of us are so intrinsically connected.
There are so many things we can do to support ourselves. It's not just about eliminating symptoms or pain, or trying to fix or change anything about ourselves or our experiences at all. It's quite the opposite. It's about seeing ourselves as whole beings and understanding all the thoughts and feelings and emotions that are going on for us, being with them all and within them all, and questioning everything, to understand ourselves as a way for healing.
To truly understand this more, it's so important to talk things through with someone we trust. And someone who understands this holistic approach. When we feel in a safe and trusted environment to talk things through, we can be willing to explore things more deeply. And we are willing to be asked powerful questions and we can become aware of questions that we might need to honestly ask ourselves too. What is this symptom telling me? How is this pain serving me? What is my body asking of me and how will I choose to listen? So many questions, that are deeply honest and personal for us all. A safe and trusting space and environment with acknowledgement, presence and compassion is deeply important to encourage this truly holistic way of healing to move forward.
Managing stress and anxiety. It's essential for us all to priorise our mental health. There is no doubt that any stress will have an impact on any symptoms we live with, and any experience we face in life. Stress and anxiety affecta our wellbeing, in so many ways. Making our mental wellbeing a priority is necessary to support ourselves as whole beings.
Learning about how powerful our minds are is essential for understanding ourselves and whatever we might live with. Understanding our minds, in a way I described above, as an orchestra out of control, or understanding our mind/ brain reactions to things, rather than more healthier responses. This understanding of just how powerful our brains are as the 'control centre' for everything. And with compassion, how we are able to change our thoughts and feelings and behaviours, to really be aware and understand our own personal connections between things. No one part of us is separate.
Living a healthy life in all the ways we can. Holistically, this means - healthy foods that are right for us as individuals (I like to talk about inituitive eating and I'll write more about that in a journal piece), movement and exericse in ways that are manageable with whatever we live with (as movement encourages positive messages to our brains), making rest and sleep a necessity and finding ways to improve sleep and to create more time/ space for rest as a priority, and making conscious and intentional choices to improve our internal enviroments and external to us too. This means social interactions, relationships, enjoyable activities and ways to bring meaning into our hearts and lives too (all of these positively impact our minds/ brains and filter through to all aspects of our beings, as our minds thrive when we feed it joyful and uplifting things).
Pain is an emotion. All expressions of pain are emotions. To truly embrace holistic healing is to feel empowered and to understand that we can support ourselves to move forward.
It's disempowering to be told that that that we must just live with something, or take this medication to manage symptoms, or to just 'put up with it'. It's far more empowering to use language that encourages and guides us to manage things within and for ourselves. It's empowering to understand that we are in control of our own minds, spirits, hearts and bodies, and we can make choices to support ourselves.
It's empowering to become aware of ourselves as truly holistic beings, and to really understand how all of our thougths, feelings, experiences, interactions, environments, feed into and connect with each other. It's necessary for all health condtions and illness. For chronic pain. For all complex conditions we live with. And also through all changes and transitions we are faced with, and move through in our lives. As so many experiences can translate as health challenges alongside too - it's almost a certainty that with any life experience, this impacts our whole wellbeing in so many ways. Everything is connected.
I love suporting my clients to feel empowered through all challenges, changes and transitions in life. Suffering isn't permanent and joy is possible. It may not feel easy, it requires acknowledgement, and compassionate support.
This what I love to do most - to empower and support my clients in a truly holistic way. As I know to do, for myself.
I know how much thoughts and emotions, as well as past experiences, can manifest as physical symptoms. I know the impact of stress and anxiety on our physical health. I understand the link and connections between our minds and emotions. I've lived through all of this myself. And I see and know this for so many others. There is a way forward and I wholeheartedly believe this for everyone.
When I started to honestly and compassionately understand my own emotions and experiences, how everything is connected and is translated in so many ways, I started to feel empowered, I felt in control, and this was the beginning of healing. Remembering that healing means different things to us all, as individuals. Even understanding this for ourselves, is a huge shift and opening to moving forward.
This may resonate for you, or for someone you know. You may feel curious right now, and perhaps you might also feel relieved that someone understands you. You may also know that you are ready to be honest and willing to understand yourself as a holistic being and to really choose to feel supported in this way.
I'd love to support you, in this holistic way, to make powerful changes in your heart and your life, for you to feel empowered in moving forward with self belief and with joy.
More than anything, feeling empowered means freedom. And to me, this is powerful healing in so many ways.
PS. I tailor each program for my clients individual needs, in a truly holistic way. I only work with 6 clients at a time as I believe in giving all of my energy to working with you, in this personalised and supportive way. You can find all the details here and send me an email for us to have a conversation - https://www.katiejanewellness.com/working-together.html
PPS. Enjoy reading these journals? You'll also enjoy receiving regular "Letters of Support" which you can sign up to, and download a free ebook as a gift too -
Katie Jane is a Holistic Therapist, Life Coach, Health Coach, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Meditation teacher, writer and author. Katie has been working in the wellness industry for over 15 years, in private practice and online, and brings all of these qualifications and skills, along with her own lived experiences through challenges, changes and transitions. Her approach to life and wellbeing is truly holistic and unique for each individual. She supports and coaches clients to make powerful changes, to feel calm through uncertainty and change, to embrace self care as a way of being, and to thrive through life transitions.