Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter February 12, 2014

Last week my friend Brea made an interesting comment. She said that it seems like my body is particularly susceptible to suggestion from my mind.

I’ve always believed that our thoughts help to shape our reality and that beliefs and thoughts can have a profound effect on our experience of life (In part because whether things are good or bad has a lot to do with how we want to interpret them. Experiences just are and we add our judgment value over them). I hadn’t considered before that perhaps my connection between the two is stronger than most. Brea had a very good point as I looked back at the stories I’ve told her.

At the risk of giving you Too Much Information, I had vaginismus. This is a condition where a woman is unable to have sex because her body completely closes off. In some cases it is physical and in a lot of cases it is psychological (which does not make it any less real!) I later found out that the condition is most common in religious communities where virginity is highly valued. Makes sense. Atmospheres like that can lead to a lot of fear around sex and particularly fear that you’re not a “good girl” anymore, even if you’re married at the time you are trying to lose your virginity. The body gets so used to being closed off that it becomes muscle memory and is challenging to readjust.

Then there’s the “hysterical pregnancy.”

I heard about this phenomenon back in Middle School. When I was 12 one of my classmates did a report on a woman who thought she was pregnant and developed all the symptoms. I thought that was ridiculous. How could that happen?

And then it happened to me. I had no idea how easy it was for my brain to become convinced that I was pregnant.  Here’s what I experienced: Missed period, sensitivity to smells, nausea (unusual for me, I have a strong stomach), weight gain. I mean, that’s every symptom you’d expect. You might at first think that maybe I was pregnant and had a super early miscarriage, but after three months of no bleeding, I got tested at the doctors and they could see that I wasn’t pregnant and never had been. So strange!

So now when I start getting pregnancy symptoms, I can’t trust them. I’m scared of having another hysterical pregnancy because it wastes of a lot of time. If I go three months without a period, that’s three months of no ovulation and no chance to become really pregnant.

My very intense dreams also seem to take a lot from what I heard or saw during the day. Last night was tornadoes after a friend used a tornado as a metaphorical example. And a Futurama movie themed dream after watching a Futurama movie.

I wonder if this strong influence that my mind has over my body is connected to my years of meditation and centering exercises!

That probably would make me particularly sensitive to hypnosis and placebo effects.

I’ve got to start trying that kooky “law of attraction” shit. If I can convince my silly body of negative things, then I should be able to convince it of positive things too. Maybe good things won’t actually be happening, but I’ll just think they are. That could work too!


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