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Home / Articles / Columnists / Life 101 /  Mind, Body, & Language
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Tuesday, October 6,2015

Mind, Body, & Language

By Cary Bayer  

Some years back, I forgave someone who deeply wronged my family and me, and within seven days of that forgiveness I lost seven pounds without changing the way I ate or exercised. When, in my “How to be at Peace with Anyone” workshop, I explain the forgiveness method that I practice, I teach students, and coach my clients to practice, and naturally don’t say for certain that there’s a causal connection between the forgiveness in my heart and the miracle weight loss in my body. After all, how can we know that there’s some kind of physical storage of emotional states? The truth, of course, is that the English language has been telling us for centuries that there is a strong correlation between mental states and the physical body, as we’ll soon see.

 

But first, a word from across the planet, to India, where the yogis have been saying for centuries, as well - millennia, actually - that there are seven non-physical centers of inner energy within the body that range from the rectum all the way up to the top of the head.

So below, is a kind of head-to-toe mindbody language map, in which figures of speech and expressions that you use on a daily basis speak to the intimate relationships between what you think and feel and its corresponding connections in your physical body itself.

 

Your Brain

When you have something very important to say to someone you may tell him that you need to give him a “piece of your mind”. And so you tell him off, and so forth, and you feel better. What you did was let go of something that you were storing in your consciousness that was housed in your brain. Did it weigh seven pounds? Most likely it did not, but perhaps one day a finely-calibrated scale will actually be able to measure the weight of intangible thoughts and feelings.

 

 

Your Head

People and situations that are highly taxing are said to give you “a headache”. The physical component of the emotional stress literally yields pain in your head itself. Relief is available with ibuprofen; of course, my name being Bayer, I would choose a particular branded aspirin that is said to work wonders.

 

 

Tongue

Sometimes you feel a strong urge to communicate deeply held feelings or strongly held beliefs but you get nervous and the words don’t come out.

 

When that happens, people say that you’re “tongue-tied”; in other words, your tongue is physically unable to give expression to what your mind wants to say.

 

Neck

You know that when a situation is extremely burdensome or a person is really difficult to get along with you might say that it or he is a real “pain in the neck.” In other words, troubling emotional material has a corresponding counterpart in the body. In this case, it’s lodged in your neck.

 

 

Collar

When you feel a great deal of anger towards someone he might say that you’re “hot under the collar”. Anger has heat, although no machine has yet to measure it, but one day, I’m sure that it will.

 

 

Shoulders

Most of the 300 different massage therapists whom I’ve privately coached have told me that most people carry a great deal of tension in their shoulders. That’s hardly surprising because some people who try to micromanage their lives and the work and lives of others, feel that they have to do everything themselves. Such people feel as if they’re “carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders”. No wonder they have such stress in their shoulders. Some massage therapists also posit a connection with highly ethical and responsible people who use the word “should” a great deal. In other words, all of their “shoulds” get deposited in their “should-ers.”

 

 

Your Chest

You have to “get it off your chest”, friends tell you when there’s something that you strongly need to communicate. If not, it just sits there in your chest, and that can’t have a good effect on the function of your heart. Which leads us to….

 

 

Your Heart

Romance novels and epic poetry are full of stories of unrequited love and relationships that crash on the hard rocks of life, leaving delicate people with a “broken heart”. Such literature is also filled with stories of characters who wind up dying of that broken heart.

 

 

Your Guts

Frightened people are accused of having “no guts”, making it virtually impossible for them to act with courage, whereas those who “have the guts,” act courageously by drawing from them.

 

 

Your Colon

When you don’t tell the truth, you’re accused of being “full of s—t”. In other words, the physical condition of constipation makes it harder to be honest.

 

 

Your Stomach

Demanding situations sometimes stress you so deeply you’re “sick to your stomach”.

 

 

Your Knees

Fear can make you literally “weak in the knees”.

 

 

Feet

You’ve no doubt heard of brides and grooms whose nuptials game them such “cold feet” that those feet scampered away from the altar. They might have been weak in the knees, but not too weak to run.

 

Less localized parts of your body also carry mental states. When you’re angry, your "blood boils", when you’re terribly frightened your blood “turns cold”. Your bones can also be psychic, enabling you to “feel it in your bones”. Arthritis sufferers also can predict the rain, which they feel in their bones. And when you’re relieved of a great burden you can feel light as a feather. Perhaps even enough to lose seven pounds.

 

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