Can I trust myself to be healthy?

Or is worrying about health risks too engrained

Kayla Douglas
Oct 9 · 4 min read
Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

I renounced my religion and felt enormous relief from freeing myself from its grasp; the guilt, sadness, disappointment, and inability to ever be enough.

I want to renounce medicine the same way by simply saying, I don’t believe in this, and I am no longer attending services.

I feel it will release me from feelings I get from the medical system like I am not thin enough, I don’t eat well enough, I don’t protect myself sufficiently from the elements to stay well.

Trusting My Body

When I have trusted my body not to get sick, it has followed through. My partner came back from an international trip with a bad cold and didn’t want to get close to me, saying I would get sick. I refused, insisting that I am healthy; I am not susceptible to the virus because I’m taking care of myself well.

It worked. I was okay because I didn’t allow myself even to imagine I could pick up those germs. I trusted my body to do what it's supposed to do. There is one massive problem with this idea.

Fear

Much of what we do in our day to day lives is motivated by fear. We pay to insure our homes, cars, and health in case a tragedy strikes. We put on our seatbelts in case we crash. We get preventative medical care, looking for problems where they don’t exist. (I know you want to add “yet.”)

We see bad things as inevitable. My eyesight will deteriorate as I age, I’ll get high blood pressure, I’ll have to slow down my activities, I’ll be at a higher risk of heart attack and so on and so forth. We view these things as truth, and so we predict our outcomes. We think it's better to be aware and informed than surprised and so we live in fear of what we believe will happen in the future.

Prevention may be a suitable method for some problems, but when it becomes our method for dealing with life, it does more harm than good. If prevention pushes you to think more about the catastrophic outcome than a positive future, then it becomes a problem. We bring our thoughts into existence, so if we are sure we will have a car accident someday, then most likely, we will bring that into our lives.

I can offer some supporting evidence about how we make our own reality using the example of anchoring. Anchoring is a neuro-linguistic programming term for the process by which responses become associated with (anchored to) stimuli. This is so automatic that it creates the perception that the stimuli lead by reflex to the anchored response.

Photo from Wikimedia

Anchoring

Our minds create anchors for our memories that can be connected with physical symptoms or experiences. For example, if you have a fear of spiders, you have a negative anchor associated with these innocent animals. The more experiences that validate the anchor, the bigger and more ‘stuck’ it becomes. So each time you see a spider and feel frightened, the anchor becomes stronger. These anchors can turn into irrational fears or other immediate unconscious reactions, even physical reactions that don’t make sense.

I used to have an anchor associated with eating melon. I remember as a kid, I loved melon and ate it all summer long. Until one summer, I got physically ill after eating it. The first time I didn’t make the association, but after the second and third, it became apparent that the delicious fruit was a trigger. My mom said it was an allergic reaction, and I shouldn’t continue to expose myself to melons, or I would make it worse. Over the years, I tested the trigger many times because the smell is so enticing. Each time I suffered the consequences almost precisely 10 minutes after ingesting the tempting fruit. Somehow vomiting didn’t make me want the fruit any less (although vomiting a food is often an anchor that keeps us from eating it again, at least for a while).

Removing the Anchor

Recently after learning about NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), I convinced myself that my problem with melon was “anchored” onto me at some point in my past. I decided to test my theory by removing the anchor. It seemed like a harmless experiment.

Using hypnosis, I went back to the first experience where I got sick from eating melon to find out why. I was eating melon when I was a child and realized I had disappointed my parents. I was so young I felt sick about letting them down, and I had no way to process that emotion. I just wanted to get it out of me. It wasn’t some big traumatic event that I would have remembered if I hadn’t gone searching for the cause of my intolerance for this delicious fruit.

Your Voice Counts

A publication for amateur writers where your views and opinions on anything can be heard.

Kayla Douglas

Written by

Life Coach, author, lifelong learner, travel enthusiast, narcolepsy advocate, living in Myanmar, she/her https://www.kaylamdouglas.com

Your Voice Counts

A publication for amateur writers where your views and opinions on anything can be heard.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade