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Have you ever wondered what keeps you from doing what you know to do to keep healthy and happy? Why don’t we exercise regularly when we say we will? Why don’t we eat an abundance of vegetables and fruits, even though the evidence shows it helps us tremendously? Why don’t we meditate, when we know it would reduce stress, strengthen our immune systems, increase our intelligence and efficiency, and even slow down aging? In fact, only 5% of those who study meditation actually continue to practice it regularly!

One day I asked a doctor friend who works with heart patients, “How many of your patients actually follow all the wonderful advice you give them about keeping a healthy heart?” He paused, looked very sad, and then said, “Very few.”

We human beings have numerous barriers to doing what we know to do to heal, stay healthy, and be happy. When these barriers are not identified or attended to, we are much more prone to get sick, not heal, or have difficulty staying consistently healthy.

While medicine recognizes that at least 80% of our symptoms we take to primary care physicians are “stress related,” little if anything is done to either identify or deal with the source of stress, aside from giving out some pills, which have “side effects” (other illnesses). No attention is given to help the patient identify their barriers, clear them, and learn to embrace their own immense internal power for self healing.

Our common barriers to health, healing and happiness are:

(1) Uncleared traumas (loss, abuse, abandonment) or other ongoing painful developmental experiences such as neglect, continued criticisms, rejection, pressure for perfection, not having feelings acknowledged, just to list a few. And then there are the unremembered traumas of intrauterine life and early childhood which are rarely dealt with, but can have profound influences on what sicknesses or unhappiness we develop. There is a high correlation between uncleared traumas and the onset of illness, whether minor or debilitating.

(2) Out of these traumas we draw negative conclusions about ourselves or about what is possible which I call negative core beliefs. These work like software in a computer, only printing out confirmations of what is in that belief.

Examples are: “I am not deserving or worthy of being healthy,” I am not good enough,” “I have to be perfect,” “sickness and healing come from the outside” meaning we see ourselves as powerless victims, just to mention a few. We also have tribal or family beliefs about what sicknesses we have to get and how we do or do not heal. Or we may believe that our illness will bring something we need, called “secondary gains.”

(3) These uncleared traumas and negative beliefs inspire the 70,000 or more thoughts we have each day, each one instantly effecting the various cells in our bodies via the neuropeptides.

If these barriers are not cleared, any medical interventions will be less effective, for it will be like trying to sail a boat which has several anchors hidden under the water holding the boat back.

Some people may just want to go to the doctor to fix the symptom without getting to the cause. But using this approach only can set you up for the easier onset of other illnesses. There are highly effective ways of clearing your traumas and other painful experiences, and you can take back your mind-power to be in charge of your health, healing and happiness, our true healing.

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Dr. Grayson is a psychologist and psychoanalyst and the founder and chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the National Institute for the Psychotherapies in New York; the founder and director of the Institute for Spirituality, Science and Psychotherapy; and appeared in numerous documentaries and PBS specials.

He has studied neuropsychology, the major psychotherapies, the new power therapies, quantum physics and Eastern and Western spiritual philosophies. He is the author of Mindful Loving and the best selling CD Audio Series for Sounds True, The New Physics of Love.

He is the co-chairman of the PTSD division of the Stand Up For Your Troops Foundation.

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