Do not Somatize that

Up to 97% of all the illnesses are Psychosomatic–etymologically it is a Greek word where Psyche — inner being, affecting our Soma i.e. our body. For example people in high-stress jobs having a headache.

Some Stats

Even a recent study by the American Medical Association found 75% of all illnesses and diseases are due to stress.

And American Institute of Health says that up to 90% of all the patients visit for stress-related problems.

66% of Americans likely to seek help for stress in a APA survey in 2004.

WHO has declared that more than 80% of Cancers are due to lifestyle and are not genetic.

Somatization is when mental factors such as stress cause physical symptoms.


How do I know?

You know that you have somatized an emotion when your body is not responding positively to any of the conventional routine treatments. Or there has been a relapse of a terminal illness like cancer.

Before we go further, just remember that Emotion is energy and every emotion needs an expression.

So what is a Psychosomatic illness?

When we continue to experience something on our emotional or mental plane without expressing it, these unresolved thoughts and feelings try to find an expression. However, these pent feelings accumulate and reach a breaking point in the form of emotional outbursts or in the form of bodily illnesses.

What about the DNA?

Neuroplasticity has proven that the structure of the brain changes based on the thoughts, but taking it further there has been an experiment by the Heartmath Institute which has clearly proved that the thinking and feeling can change the shape of the DNA. Yes, we are born with a fixed set of genes in our chromosomes but which of these genes is active and how they are active has a great deal to do with how we think.

The DNA would respond to the feelings of tightening up, becoming shorter and shutting down many DNA codes when there were thoughts of anger and fear. However, these could be reversed with the feelings of Love and joy!

It also shows that the HIV positive patients with positive thoughts and feelings had 300,000 times more resistance!

You can read more about this experiment in this scholarly paper.

So is it still hard for us to draw the correlation that people who carry the responsibility of the world might be storing it up in their shoulders? Or those with stress storing it up in their stiff necks’? Rounding up to say that every emotion if not expressed gets stored in some relevant part in our body and manifests itself as stiffness.

For example, if I did not share these thoughts with you on this blog, maybe my head would bulge to being a little more bigger! (just kidding)

Emotional Hygiene

Every day while wading through the river of emotion, a particular feeling might start to gain some momentum. Imagine a massive truck that has just started in the morning and gaining speed with every interaction in the world. By the end of the day, it would have reached a critical speed, leading to a crash— shouting at kids, spouse or helpers. It is a good idea to once in a while in the day, maybe hourly and fill in these blanks — “I am feeling _______”.

To build this awareness maybe you could use timely reminders on your laptop or phones such as what is provided here. Remember knowing the problem is half the solution. Or what can be measured can be managed…

Take a few moments to trace the cause of this feeling, and if possible reason out the feeling. Such as “Is it Useful?” Or like some people punch pillows!

For example, may be there is a collegue who has not respond to your email in spite of several follow-ups. Now they might be doing this out of their callousness, but if your peace is what is much more important to you than taking revenge. Place your hand on your heart and tell yourself that s/he might have been busy and you will continue to gently nudge until you get a response.

What about the onslaught of day?

Remember the world is just what we can make out of it. We cannot control the events and circumstances of our life but we can control our reactions. Let me tell you the age-old secret the key is in the Gap between the Stimulus and Response we can choose our reaction! And it is these reactions which can decide if we are going to have cancer or lead a healthy life.

Unless you are being chased by some hungry dinosaurs or going to be smashed down by an oncoming train, you can always take a deep long breath from your abdomen, close your eyes and as you exhale send a signal from your mind to every nerve in your body that everything is just alright and it is ok for the body and mind to relax.

When the issues of your life are those that you cannot confide with anyone in your circle, let the pen slide on the paper. Write your feelings, draw them, trace the cause …. mind map, yes mindmapping is also a great way to untangle yourself.

Cry it out

Or Cry it out… yes I mean it, crying is our natural way to handle overwhelming emotions. And remember the only people who look small when they cry are the cinema Heroes! Its okay to cry. Its okay to share your grief, its okay to ask for help. Some parents wouldn’t want their children to see them in bad shape. But I beg to differ on this point, its okay to cry even in front of your child just so that they know that they do not become small when they cry and they would be open to sharing their problems with you.


Celebrate even the smallest of your victories and achievements. When we do not have something, we strive so much to get it or be there. But once we have it or are there, we let the matter just slip into oblivion. Let the joy of your celebration dissolve the exhaustion of the effort you put in acheiving something.

Bottom line is, Be more expressive, let all your emotions find an expression. May your life be filled with health, abundance, harmony and bliss!