Mind over matter is used to describe a situation in which someone is able to control a physical condition, problem, etc. Mark Twain is attributed to saying “if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”.
In my line of work, I work with a lot of people with voice disorders. Most of them have some physiological reason for the voice problems, such as vocal cord nodules, vocal cord paralysis, or cancer, for example. But I always start out my sessions explaining how no matter the cause of their voice issues, there is a huge psychological component to the problem. Because, after all, isn’t the voice the first thing someone notices about you? Well, after they see you, that is. So once you open your mouth and your voice is hoarse, say, people automatically make assumptions. “Oh, they must have a cold..or they must smoke”.
The reason I even mention the psychological component is that I believe it is important for them to understand that and to know it’s okay to feel sad about their voice. It’s a loss of sorts. But more times than not, people are resistant to this concept in that I believe they think I’m implying it’s “all in their head”. Isn’t that the most dreadful thought?? “Oh, so are you saying this is all in my mind??” And, if that’s the case, shouldn’t you be able to control it and make it better?
This led me to start thinking about pain. We all know that whenever we experience pain, there is a starting point or a “source” of the pain. Maybe it’s an injury or a disease that’s causing our pain. We also know that pain fluctuates. That some days it may be hardly noticeable while other days it’s almost unbearable. And on the days when it’s an 8/10 pain day, wouldn’t you agree that the mind almost makes it worse? The more you try to calm it down, the worse it seems to get! And the crux of it is, can we say that this “is all in our mind”?
I guess my point is this, that if our mind is in control, why can’t we make the changes we want? I believe we can. I’m learning through meditation practice of how better to control or manage my pain, and it is working. I’m also using this practice to manage my cravings of alcohol and help with many other emotional and physical discomforts. That instead of dreading the question “oh man, is this all in my head…” , let’s agree that it is. And that by agreeing that it is in my mind, I can control how I feel about it and thus better able to manage.
Mind over matter…
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