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?

968 thoughts on “How we hurt ourselves with reaction

  1. “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 find this so inspiring, and of course it makes complete sense, that if we can be the ones that can bring on our own illnesses, that we also have the capability of doing the reverse. There is so much avaialble for us to learn about these amazing bodies of ours when we are open to the fact that there is so much more to us that just our physical being.

  2. This is such a great reminder that we can either be our own worst enemies or our own best friends – and that our health and wellbeing is entirely in our hands! Also, that negative self-talk is so destructive on a physiological level as well as psychologically. We have the power to build ourselves up, with love, understanding and patience, or to degrade ourselves – and the results are very quickly and clearly felt in our bodies.

  3. ‘to feel my whole body and listen to the wise things it has to say.’ for me this the starting point of true health, when we acknowledge our body carries the wisdom and when we honour what our body is communicating.

  4. Now that I have come to understand the power of reactions to harm my body I can see so clearly why my body was low in vitality and suffering from ill-health for such a long time; I was spending so much of my life in reaction. Yes, it definitely hurts to go in to reaction, and it just doesn’t hurt us but all those around us as well. Reaction is not something that is natural to the way our body lives so in response it has a very emphatic way of letting us know.

  5. Allowing ourselves to feel and express our love builds a strong foundation that helps support us to be more committed in observing the situations around us instead of reacting and harming our body.

  6. To understand that our reactions are as harmful as anything that can harm us physically was a revelation to me. But once understood how this happens, and the effect that reactions have energetically on our physical body and mental health, it made so much sense. The key is to not get caught out by anything that may trigger a reaction in us by healing the reasons why we are reacting in the first place.

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