(updated Nov 2022)
When you are in pain, all you want to do is find the thing that will get you out of pain. But there’s an overlooked answer to your pain that has nothing to do with finding the right movement, exercise, or treatment…
Your body and how it moves are all influenced by the messages and words that you read, hear, think, and say.
It’s true. You can feel more pain (or less pain) depending on the words you hear. You can move more freely (or less freely) depending on the messages you believe. Your body is very, very, influenced by the words and messages it hears.
Words tell your brain whether the environment is safe or not. In response, your brain dictates how your body moves given the perceived safety level of the environment.
You might move more rigidly. You might feel more pain. Your posture might change. And of course, the opposite is true, too. You might move more freely, with less pain, with a totally different posture.
These are all possible, in part, because of the words your brain heard and whether it deemed the environment you’re in is safe or unsafe.
Language is powerful.
The words, concepts, and ideas you hear can make you more or less trustful in your body. They can make you more confident or less. They can make you feel more at ease, or less.
Your body is always trying to protect you.
And if your mind believes – consciously or subconsciously – that you are at risk, that will be a program that runs in the background perpetually until you address it.
Especially in cases of chronic and recurring pain, beliefs and worries can play a big role in the persistence of pain.
Amongst other effects, fearful movement has been shown to decrease neural drive to the tissues being feared, which means there is less muscular contraction of those tissues. If you need to move a certain way, your body will just find another means by which to do it.
This can create some interesting accommodations, where your body might ‘avoid’ using tissues of concern and lean a bit harder on other tissues. This is just your body doing its best, but it certainly might create unpleasant effects down the line.
What Messages Are You Hearing About Your Body?
You see messages every day that influence how you perceive your body…
You’re told that getting older means feeling frail and awful. You’re told that you should expect your joints to hurt now that you’re 35, 40, 55, whatever age you are. You’re told that you’re “too old” to do certain things anymore.
On top of those external messages, what internal messages are you hearing? These are the messages that you yourself are telling yourself about your body.
Do you believe that dealing with your body is always a battle?
Do you believe that you’re doomed to sickness or injury?
Do you believe that someone else knows better than you what’s right for your body?
Do you believe you don’t deserve more food (as is often the case with dieting)?
Do you believe you are ‘good enough’ if you workout hard and constantly exhaust yourself?
Do you believe that your body will only change if you force it to do so?
How To Change The Messages You Hear About Your Body
In my book, Becoming Unbreakable: How To Build A Body You Love To Live In, I walk you through an entire protocol for uncovering the negative messages you believe about your body and rewriting them.
But to help you get started today, I’m giving you two simple steps you can take to start making changes to the words and messages you hear:
- #1: Eliminate sources of unhelpful messaging. This is not about “good vibes only” though… It’s about curating your world so that you thrive. If a family member, friend, doctor, coach, instagram influencer, or TV personality engages in unhelpful messaging, minimize your exposure to them and then go straight to tip #2.
- #2 Build your inner authority so that when you do happen to hear unhelpful messaging, you can see it for what it is and not get sidetracked or thrown off by it. There are always going to be people who spew their unhelpful messages, often without even realizing it, but remember – that’s their world they’re living in, not yours.
To learn much more about how language, messages, and words, influence your symptoms in your body, you’ll want to read this post: How Your (Mostly Subconscious) Stories Influence Your Symptoms
Want to build a body you love to live in?
It all begins with learning what your body needs, and then giving it the messages, movements, and lifestyle changes it needs to become Unbreakable.
Explore my Becoming Unbreakable Workout & Lifestyle Course now