In part 3 we talked about the science to anxiety, in which we delved down the route of neurons and the way they send impulses along a long chain of neurons in and around the brain. In this post we will talk about how your thoughts can be responsible for sending nerve impulses around your body that you experience as a pain, ache, injury, or cellular dysfunction.
To do so we go back to the body’s nervous system, to discover how your central nervous system i.e your brain and spinal cord not only connects but effects and is affected by your peripheral nervous system.
The peripheral nervous system incorporates 10 million sensory nerves that sends signals and impulses including those of the sensations of: touch, smell, sound, movement, pain and temperature. Then there are the 0.5 million motor neurons that activate muscle functions. Well, the peripheral nervous system connects every one of the 10.5 million nerves to your brain via your spinal cord.
It is therefore not hard to deduce, that every signal and thought that emanates or activated by the brain doesn’t stay isolated to the brain. Instead it connects to specific cells in various regions or extremities of the body via the 10.5 million nerves and the trillions of optional routes. Consequently, it is no surprise that when you have a panic attack, anxiety attack or an experience of stress the signals don’t stay in your brain all isolated and mollycoddled in cotton wool. Instead it travels like any current to the extremities.
[This video is a graphic representation of neurons sending signals around the body]
This equates to 10.5 million live cables that can connect to every cell in your body. For this reason, when you are unsteady in your mind, you can feel unsteady on your feet; when you feel the weight of life and its issues, you can feel it in your shoulders; mental weakness, can brings weakness to your lumbar; the need to communicate vocally, can bring irritation to the throat; and so on…
Each of us can find examples like these that affect us in one-way or another. Now just for a second imagine that you have a negative thought about your work burden. You start to feel aches in the shoulders. But by some most amazing feat you are able to eradicate the thought just as quickly as it came and hence the achy shoulders dissipates.
But we all know that isn’t likely in most cases. Instead the thought regurgitates in your mind. It only takes one thing to trigger it and all of a sudden your nervous system, let alone your mind is becoming hard-wired and the same signal is travelling from the cerebellum region of your brain down your spinal cord, along the Spinocerebellar Tract all the way to your feet. Then back up again and so on. Just like a spirograph the more you go over the same line the darker the line and the more ingrained it becomes.
Well, this is what happens with nerve communication. The electrical impulses are travelling up and down, and up and down, and the synapses get stronger and stronger every minute, hour, day, week, month and year that goes by. So what starts as a thought that creates a minor niggle, can and in most cases lead to a cellular disorder if it is allowed to take hold.
What experiences have you had that you can connect your mind to your physical ailments? Post your comments below. To understand how you can move beyond anxiety follow the post Can I really re-wire my Brain? – Part 1 to discover life beyond anxiety, panic attacks and irrationality of mind.