WORK ON ALL LEVELS
By Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© May 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
This article has to do with the nature of our health symptoms and conditions. Many people and most doctors are aware that symptoms can have a physical cause, primarily. However, they can also have emotional, mental and spiritual causes, too.
The name given to the latter in health care is psychosomatic. It means symptoms caused by mental or emotional illness or factors, but which manifest as physical conditions.
The problem is figuring out where the origin of a symptom lies, since this is where one must look for the cause. Often, it is not clear. This means that a physical imbalance in the body can give rise to mental or emotional symptoms, and, at the same time, an emotional or mental imbalance can easily give rise to physical symptoms such as irritability or anxiety, for example.
Even if you decide or figure out which level is responsible for one’s health problems at a given time, it can change within months or even weeks, making things even more complex. What is the answer for this dilemma?
WORK ON ALL LEVELS
The best answer I have found for the dilemma above is to make corrections on as many levels as possible – and ideally, do them together at the same time.
Clearly, this is more work. However, it will often keep a person moving ahead faster in their healing and development.
HOW TO WORK ON ALL LEVELS
First, be clear in your mind about the levels. These can be stated simply as the physical level, the emotional level, the mental level and the spiritual level.
One could add others, such as the social level and the survival level, if you wish.
Let us look at each in detail. Before doing so, one way to handle all levels at once is to take excellent physical care of the body with a nutritional balancing program – and not just “eating well”, “exercising” or “getting your rest”. This is not the same.
1. The physical level. This level of life includes one’s food, water, and oxygen. It also includes the physical aspects of lifestyle such as getting plenty of sleep, going to bed early, staying warm, staying clean, and getting some physical exercise, but not to the point of exhaustion or overdoing it.
Most readers understand the importance of this level, although most doctors do not stress this level as their education does not emphasize it enough. Instead they prescribe drugs when a change in diet or lifestyle would take care of the problem at much less cost and much lower toxicity.
2. The emotional level. Many people are not as in touch with this level of their being. It has to do with one’s responses to situations. It means keeping a cool head, not getting too upset or even too elated when things go well. It has to do with keeping an even temperament at all times, in all situations.
Ways to do this include:
1. Read books such as the Bible that give you a broad perspective on life.
2. Have grounded and centered friends or family with whom to consult if a situation arises.
3. Stay well-rested so you are more prepared for what life brings.
4. Don’t allow yourself to become too busy so you can change plans and activities quickly, if needed, in an emergency without being “thrown off course”.
5. Have “centers of stability” in your life that are difficult to upset or disturb. The best is probably religious faith. Another good one is reading material that you love. These cannot be easily taken away. Hobbies are good this way, also.
Family, friends, a home or a pet are also good. However, anything “physical” such as these are subject to problems such as illness, death, betrayal, and so on.
6. Try to stay grounded and in touch with reality. Emotional upsets are often due to situations that you did not perceive correctly, that result in nasty surprises.
For example, a friendship or a job may not really be going well, but if you are not clear or centered and grounded, you might convince yourself that all is well when it is not. When the relationship or job suddenly falls apart, it is very upsetting. In contrast, if you knew beforehand that things were rocky, you would not be surprised if things fell apart, and you might have taken action earlier.
3. The mental level. These are your thoughts and attitudes about everything. It is a critical part of every human being’s life.
To work on this level means:
1. Regularly examine your thoughts, attitudes and beliefs. Are you negative, cynical, out of touch, feeling like a victim, or fixated in some other way so that your thoughts and attitudes are not really in line with life and reality?
This is often not easy to observe. A good friend or family member who is willing to be honest, and who is grounded, may be helpful.
Good books, such as the Bible, are also excellent to help correct attitudes such as victimhood, arrogance, deep sadness, excessive exaggeration or sort of craziness that we all can experience, at times.
The Pushing Down Exercise I find is superb for “bringing up issues”. The truth is often shown to you. It may not be pleasant, but it is helpful.
At times, visiting a good counselor is helpful. However, many are not good. Finding a good one is imperative, and not easy.
Reading, once again, can be helpful if it is the right material. The articles on this website can be helpful to assess your beliefs and attitudes, although not everyone likes the perspectives of these articles. They are there for a reason, often to counter the mass media and mass culture of today. If you just read those who agree with your ideas and beliefs, you are not likely to progress.
4. The spiritual level. This is not only religious beliefs. It is also about your understanding of what life is all about at the highest or deepest level. The spiritual level asks questions such as, “Who am I?”, “What is life?”, “Where do I come from?”, and “Why am I here?”
These are questions that science, so far, cannot answer. Religions traditionally address these questions, but there are other sources of information you can consult, as well.
Sometimes symptoms arise due to problems in these beliefs or areas. For example, some people believe that God hates them. Some believe they are horrible sinners with no chance of forgiveness, mercy or grace.
Others believe that life is just a cruel accident or happenstance. Some believe that life is awful, a sort of punishment that one must endure for a while.
I recommend the article on this website entitled The Real Self as an antidote for some of these spiritual beliefs. The article is just a summary of a series of tapes or a book entitled The Way Of The Master that explores these subjects in detail.
Some years ago, I read in a book that one can either be optimistic or pessimistic about life. The truth may be elusive. However, if you optimistic and you are wrong, at least you will enjoy life more. If you are pessimistic and you are wrong, you make yourself miserable for years without cause.