How we hurt ourselves with reaction

by Dianne Trussell, BSc Hons, Australia

The science of psycho-neuro-immunology has been showing us a lot about ourselves – that we already know from our own bodies and life experience – but often pretend we don’t.

The nervous system (which includes the brain), the immune system and the hormone system all talk to each other, and take their cues from each other about how to ‘behave’, how to respond.

Stress releases hormones that affect our brain and immune system. Stress alters how many of what kind of immune cells are made, and imbalances lead to illness. Stress suppresses our immune system’s killer cells – we are therefore more susceptible to cancer and other diseases. Stress also tires out the systems that produce the hormones – like the adrenals – leading to exhaustion.

Three important regions of the brain are affected by stress hormones, and those brain regions are important for memory, learning, dealing with life, thinking, making sense of the world, fear, emotion, fight and flight…. so it’s definitely not a good thing for them to be continually stressed!

Of course some ‘stress reactions’ are very important: fear makes us run out of a burning house, avoid violent people, savage dogs, venomous snakes, spiders and things that can hurt us; suspicion keeps us safe from foods that might make us sick; anxiety and tension on a crazy-busy road might lead us to choose a quieter, safer route; worry about something might make us get up and take needed action, etc.

One of the worst things about stress reactions is that the relevant body systems work in a feedback loop that can keep itself going, even when no longer needed. So, once we start down the stress and emotional reaction path, we keep feeding it, making it worse, ‘deepening the groove’. Then it’s difficult to get out of that vicious cycle. We basically program ourselves to be and remain stressed. So it’s necessary to put some work and commitment into changing the way we react to situations and people and to ourselves.

The bit about “changing the way we react” is super important. We tend to think stress comes from outside and the blame lies with someone else or some situation beyond our control. But the biggest form of stress is how we ourselves react to the situations and people that we say ’cause us stress’. Ultimately it is we who choose to get or stay angry, sad, impatient, frustrated, worried, scared…. and it’s thus we ourselves who can change it.

One of the worst forms of stress (in my humble opinion) is negative internal talk, about others and about oneself. It usually comes from comparison and/or jealousy. Things like: I’m no good. I can’t do that. She’s pathetic. They cheated me. I always stuff it up. I’m an idiot. She’s prettier than me. What did I go and do that for? I’ll lose everything if I do that. I’m ugly. I’m fat. I’m weak. She’s going to attack me if I say anything. He gets all the attention. No-one loves me. I wish my nose wasn’t crooked. I should be earning more money. He’s always angry at me for no reason. She always projects her stuff onto me. I’m a disappointment to the people I love. Etc., etc., blah blah … We all do it.

BUT … we react physiologically to our own thoughts and emotions! Our brains hear all the internal talk, and think it’s true, and obediently initiate the stress reactions through the hormone, nervous and immune systems. Snap! We express fear, hate, loathing, disappointment, self-negation, etc., and our body wilts like a mistreated plant.

But if we refuse to listen to the internal chatter, and allow ourselves to feel and express our natural love, understanding, patience and acceptance of others and ourselves, we can send beneficial effects flowing throughout our physiology.

For me this process of learning to feel, love and accept has opened up and accelerated as a result of my study of esoteric medicine, as taught by Serge Benhayon. However no amount of ‘head knowledge’ does it, although that supports me while I develop and practice new understanding and awareness of my body. It began when I learned how to become aware of when I was racy and ahead of myself, then to stop and breathe gently. This helps me to feel my whole body and listen to the wise things it has to say. From there I can choose and move in a way that honours my body, moment by moment. It’s an ongoing process – there’s always more to learn and higher levels of awareness possible. Worth the effort!

We are our own worst enemies. We make ourselves sick. And we can also be our own greatest friends, and bring ourselves back to true health.

 

Read more:

  1. Reaction versus response
  2. Why are we so reactive? 
  3. Bullying – what does it truly mean?

887 thoughts on “How we hurt ourselves with reaction

  1. This blog is so empowering – we have the answers and can choose at any time to start changing how we treat ourselves and the amount of negative self talk that we allow. The more I clock when my thoughts are not supportive the more I have a choice to make positive changes that enhance my overall well-being.

  2. Reactions are a killer to the body and listening to any negative nonsense about ourselves and others is a sure way to become exhausted, sick and to withdraw from life.

  3. Another great blog Dianne – you bring a deep understanding to the amazing way the body works and choices we can make to change the cause stress reactions or bring harmonious responses in the whole of the body, organs, brain, skin, muscles etc.
    “But the biggest form of stress is how we ourselves react to the situations and people that we say ’cause us stress’. Ultimately it is we who choose to get or stay angry, sad, impatient, frustrated, worried, scared…. and it’s thus we ourselves who can change it”.

  4. Brilliant and much needed blog to read and share with everyone. We can be okay with talking about being stressed, it’s quite normal for us to put how we are feeling down to stress, but rarely do we talk about what we have reacted to and why… that has caused the body to be under stress and show through digestion issues, lack of sleep, feeling down etc. etc. I know my body is suffering a lot at the moment from reacting. This blog is everything I know but desperately need reminding of.

  5. I find one of the more harmful reactions is when we react to our reactions. Sometimes it is ok to have a brief reaction when the body registers something that is not harmonious, but then if we react to that and bring in emotions and thoughts etc we are certainly not doing ourselves or anyone else any favours and in fact can be doing a lot of harm…. but again not to judge or react but bring in honesty, awareness and understanding – all of which are great medicine.

  6. Its really easy to be responsible for the quality of our thoughts when we realise we are the main person affected by our thoughts. We can think an unpleasant thought about another person and think we are the only ones who know it, but in reality the impact is there impacting all others around us. Our inner thoughts don’t insulate the rest of the world from how we choose to be.

    1. Very true Felicity but I do not live this level of responsibility yet. It exposes how I can still indulge in self but this is not a critique but something to observe showing and offering me an opportunity to go deeper in the love for myself and life.

  7. ‘Ultimately it is we who choose to get or stay angry, sad, impatient, frustrated, worried, scared…. and it’s thus we ourselves who can change it.’ Sometimes it seems we cannot step out of the emotional state we have placed ourselves in but I know this is just another form of sabotaging ourselves to stubbornly stay in the stressful situation we have created.This blog is a great reminder (very timely) that we are captain of our own ship and can stop listening to the negative internal talk (as I agree this is the worst form of stress)and sail a steady course with love and care.

    1. At a time when mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental health condition in the UK, the world is crying out for this medicine – self responsibility is equal to empowerment.

  8. I know from experience that living in reaction is super draining and causes complication and ‘issues’. The awareness that is being built thanks to the presentations of The Ageless Wisdom, the workshops by Universal Medicine and the Esoteric Healing Modalities taught by Serge Benhayon, have all supported me to grow out of reaction as I address the hurts and machinations of desire and choice. Consequently life is no longer full of reaction but more loving, vital and joyful.

  9. We are indeed our own worst enemies. Just moments ago, I got completely stressed out because I had misunderstood whose fridge shelf was whose, in a sharehouse I am currently staying in. I used up the wrong persons food and the panic in me when they realised went through my entire body. I felt everything tense up and contract, and I started to get a headache from the guilt of what I had done. A perfect example of how stress affects the body physically.

  10. The stress of not dealing with things, and the tension held in the body is something I am very familiar with, and the exhaustion that follows, including the inevitable headache the following day. It would seem that we are our own worst enemies, and the body cops it every time.

  11. How many times do we hear ‘ he/she made me do it’ or ‘he /she started it ‘ from children. It would really support them if we talked about what is really going on and let them realise their own responsibility and let them connect to the truth and power they hold within.

  12. I love this blog and what it presents for our consideration. You are correct in saying Dianne that we are our own worst enemy and that one of the worst things that we can do to ourselves is to have negative self talk. Our internal talk can and often is brutal and certainly not something that we would say to someone else. This toxic way of relating to ourselves has to have an effect both short term and long term. The antidote to this is self acceptance and appreciation yet so few of us are any good at this. I have discovered that self acceptance and appreciation is wonderful medicine and deeply healing on so many levels.

    1. I agree with you Elizabeth the more we allow self acceptance into our lives the more those negative thoughts have little traction in the mind. I have discovered this for my self and now look after myself with more care and attention than I have ever done before, and its so worth it as my self love has grown so much and will forever deepen.

  13. It would seem that our ill choice to live life predominantly through the nervous system is a way to avoid truly connecting with people (vascular system) and with God (lymphatic system). A contraction in any one of these many systems that make up our human form will lead to an imbalance in all others, such is the order of the Universal harmony we belong to that lets us know the moment we step out of tune to its rhythm.

  14. To get ourselves in a way of living that we don’t have this inner bad talking to ourselves is possible. I noticed that on the moments negative thoughts come in, it is me who chooses to align with the energy that comes my way. It hopes I say yes to it by just giving attention to those thoughts. But the way is to realize that we are not those thoughts and we do not make them. They come from an outer source. It is an energy we let in which gives us those thoughts and the more we take them seriously and deepen those thoughts by pondering in them we live our day in this quality and so our body. But when we focus on being present, feeling our connection in our heart and breathe our own breath ( ‘Gentle Breath Meditation’ of Serge Benhayon, free download on http://www.unimedliving.com ) you will see that life starts to be way more joyful and our body starts to be vital.

  15. Stress is like a never-ending cycle of ups and downs. But when you are exhausted, engaging in excessive emotion can give you an artificial lift or high that invariably always crashes later only serving to feed your exhaustion all the more.

    1. Suse that is a great point, just like having a bag of sweets and what happens to our blood sugar, emotions can spike us up in an artificial stimulated state too, only to come crashing back down again when it’s over.

  16. I can remember very easily the stress treadmill that I was on for so long; I knew I was stressed but struggled to know how to heal it, such was the impact that it had on my body; I felt way too exhausted to make any changes. Coming to understand that it is not the situation but how I react to it that is most important was one huge ‘aha’ moment and with this knowing finally I was able to begin to get off the treadmill for long periods of time. Nowadays, most of the time, it sits in the corner gathering dust no longer a part of my life.

  17. Such a powerful message you have presented to us in this blog Dianne, that being, harming ourselves, and others, by reactive behaviours. So much to ponder and take responsibility for.

  18. Thank you for bringing science to our everyday behaviours and giving us more reason to look after ourselves and change those deep seated reactions . I know that our own self talk can be very harmful but I now know more in detail which supports and encourages me to change.

  19. Thanks Dianne, very powerful reminders here that our choices, even at a subtle level of thoughts, create the healthy or ill body we may experience. As you say, patience, love, and understanding are part of the rebuilding and maintenance tool kit for a healthy, vital body.

  20. I love what you say here Dianne how our brains hear all the internal talk and think that it is true what they hear and are obedient so stress reactions are put in place in our systems or they are obedient to the love, understanding and acceptance. So yes ‘We are our own worst enemies. We make ourselves sick. And we can also be our own greatest friends, and bring ourselves back to true health.’

  21. I can’t thank you and agree with you enough Dianne with this blog and especially the part of our negative thoughts coming from comparison and/or jealousy. If this part is addressed – calling out the false picture that we should be where another is at and accepting that we have made choices and another may have made different choices to be where they are then the negative chatter can start to be reduced.

  22. This topic was brought up for me today with my Universal Medicine Therapies practitioner, and I understood more deeply what you are sharing here about how we affect ourselves. I have realised that a stressful, suspenseful movie is lived by the body as if it’s actually happening, and today I received a clearer understanding of how I experience the same thing in terms of the thoughts I have. I just so happened to have this blog preselected and waiting to be read this evening, and the exact thing was presented to me in my afternoon session today.

  23. We also try to control and manipulate others through our reactions which is the ultimate form of avoiding responsibility but by exposing and calling this lack of responsibility out expressing the fact that it is our own making every time we choose to react and get stressed we offer the essential ingredient – love to ourselves and others, an offering to choose otherwise.

  24. Dianne, great article, ‘We are our own worst enemies. We make ourselves sick. And we can also be our own greatest friends, and bring ourselves back to true health.’ I have found this to be true, I can go into stress and overwhelm and be in anxiousness which feels awful in my body, makes me rush and usually I drop something hurt myself or get exhausted – so this does not work, I have also noticed that if I feel anxious that I can choose to come back to not being anxious – it is simply a choice, I often do this by coming back to being present in my body, stopping rushing and breathing gently.

  25. “We are our own worst enemies. We make ourselves sick. And we can also be our own greatest friends, and bring ourselves back to true health.”
    What i find astonishing about all this Dianne is that the internal dialogue that everyone experiences is so rarely acknowledged and talked about, I feel this is a conversation that needs to be opened up in schools; to empower our young to clock the waywardness of our thoughts and build greater connection and appreciation of our bodies.

    1. This is a brilliant point. Through exposing it we can then render it as the nought that it is. But whilst we keep it hidden, then it retains its power over us.

  26. A hugely powerful sharing – I did not realise the science of what happens when we take things on – that is so fascinating and makes sense how poisonous it is to the body. As you say – we can harm or heal the body ourselves.

  27. It’s a hard and consistent form of stress when we have the negative internal talk (that you managed to so easily illustrate in one full paragraph – such is the commonness of it!). Yet through the study of Esoteric medicine I have come to know myself to be naturally loving and the internal negative thoughts about myself have abated, I feel very much more at ease with myself and with that I don’t jump as I may have once upon a time, to automatically criticise or judge.

  28. “One of the worst things about stress reactions is that the relevant body systems work in a feedback loop that can keep itself going, even when no longer needed. So, once we start down the stress and emotional reaction path, we keep feeding it, making it worse, ‘deepening the groove’.” One of the best ways I know to get myself out of a groove that feels awful, is to work with my body and movement, choosing to focus on the quality of my breath, on what I’m doing and how I am moving leaves no room for that cycle to be fed.

  29. We certainly are our own worst enemies and it is our responsibility to align to an energy that heals us and brings us back to true health. What you have expressed here is so true and empowering;
    “We are our own worst enemies. We make ourselves sick. And we can also be our own greatest friends, and bring ourselves back to true health.”

  30. Brilliantly shared Dianne. You have so clearly broken down to reveal how we are the ones that create the stress we feel through our choice to engage in the chatter of our minds, and as such that we also can choose to connect to the ever-present truth of who we really are, through connecting to our bodies. As you so wisely say – ‘It’s an ongoing process – there’s always more to learn and higher levels of awareness possible.’ And yes agreed, committing to this process worth it – all day long, and the next and the next…

  31. Dianne, great article, this feels so true; ‘We are our own worst enemies. We make ourselves sick. And we can also be our own greatest friends, and bring ourselves back to true health.’ This has been my experience I spent many years abusing my body with alcohol, cigarettes, sugary food and critical self talk. I am now much more gentle and loving with myself and feel like I’m a great friend to myself, this is a huge turnaround and is definitely possible.

  32. I’m just starting to feel the degree of hurt that comes with a reaction. The most slightest ones impact at a level that we can often override but over time this is felt by the body and how we live and move. So much here to return to understanding that YES, it is our worst enemy and the powerful sharing of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine supports us to stay true to this understanding and the chose to make our life about healing.

  33. This blog brings back the responsibility to where it belongs – with the reader – with me. It is my choice how I choose to react to life and I can choose to either harm or heal my body. As you say – “We are our own worst enemies. We make ourselves sick. And we can also be our own greatest friends, and bring ourselves back to true health.” You have inspired me today to be my own greatest friend, and to bring myself back to true health.

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