Favoring the body over the mind


I watched this TED talk the other day (embedded below), and it stuck with me. I’ve been thinking about it for several days now so why not blog about it? Good idea. I will.

The gist of the talk is that we don’t take care of our emotional selves like we do our physical selves.

So true.

I remember when I first experienced the frustrations of working with insurance in regards to emotional health compared to physical health. Visit to the doctor’s for stitches? Check. Visit to a therapist? I dunno about that…

Little kids know how to maintain their physical bodies. Dom had a small scratch on his hand that was irritated by the soap in the bath so he requested a bandaid. After putting on his bandaid, he then brushed his teeth with his dad. He reminds me often of when we went to the clinic to get his flu shot. He often plays with pens to dispense flu shots to himself, Pogi, and toys.

We don’t take care of our emotional injuries, though, even though we KNOW that they impact our lives in dramatic ways.

“Feeling depressed? Just shake it off; it’s all in your head.”

“Broken leg? Just walk it off; it’s all in your leg.”

I did ignore my body when I was younger and didn’t tell my parents about injuries sustained in sports. I’m stuck now, with permanent problems thanks to several dislocations: jaw, toe, and shoulder. If I had told them, if I’d gone to the doctor, then I wouldn’t have a titanium toe, I wouldn’t deal with headaches, but I also wouldn’t have a 1-inch-longer reach with my right arm. It’s a trade off.

I’ve been far worse with my emotional injuries, though.

Can you imagine if you were rejected, say you had a bad date, and you called up your best girlfriend to look for emotional support, but she simply stated, “Well, you are pretty ugly and have you SEEN your hips?” You would so unfriend her. And call her mean words.

But that’s what we do to ourselves. After a rejection, we list our faults and shortcomings, we call ourselves names, we shoot ourselves down. We are MEAN to ourselves. I know that I am.

So I vow to improve, to be a nice friend to myself, and to follow the TED-talk-tips:

  • take action when I feel lonely
  • protect my self-esteem
  • battle negative feelings
  • change my response to failure
  • build emotional resilience

How do I start?



  1. Start by coming to writing group and to Solstice, where we can LAUGH and tell you how AMAZING you are. Because you are. Amazing. And we love you, you boss of us.


  2. Man. I wish that we lived closer to each other. I can relate to so much of this. Except for the sports injuries…I’ve never been brave enough to put myself in situations where I’d get injured like that and even if I did manage to get hurt, you can bet that I’d be a giant wuss about it, running for help right away. Those points in the talk are good ones. When you figure out how to implement them, let me know. Maybe the solution is to build a giant family compound? That would sure make it easier to tackle the loneliness part. I hear talk of family neighborhoods being all the rage in Arizona. People collectively buy huge plots of land and then plan out their own tiny communities. Sounds pretty cool to me…except then you’re in Arizona. Which doesn’t seem ideal. And it’s possible that you have to have a huge amount of wealth to begin with. Still. Totally doable.


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