My Soul Seems Happy, But My Mind Is Upset…What Now?

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The following questions were submitted by a reader like you.

After thinking about the list of questions you provided in Frequent Mood Swings: How to Identify Spiritual or Psychological Causes, I had positive answers for almost all of the soul questions, but mostly negative answers for the mind questions. Could this be why my life is so full of anxiety, mood swings and internal terror?

Absolutely. The questions I listed in that post under the section “For a Calm Mind” are designed to help you assess how well your subconscious feels the core needs of your mind and body are being met. Here’s a review:

  • Do I feel safe enough in my every day life?
  • Do I feel I am on good terms with the people whose opinions are the most important to me (especially romantic partners, parents & siblings)?
  • Do I have a reliable human source of emotional affirmation?
  • Do I have a sufficient amount of social interaction with other humans?
  • In general, do I feel pretty equal to the other humans around me in terms of value and social rank?
  • Am I getting enough downtime in life to recharge and do my idea of “fun”?
  • Am I easy to succeed with in my own eyes? Do I set standards that I can actually reach?
  • Do I feel that my basic needs for food, clothes, and shelter are being met well enough for now?
  • Do I feel pretty capable of escaping social situations that make me uncomfortable, or at least minimize how often I’m in them?
  • How do I feel about the person I see in the mirror? Am I okay with my own appearance, mannerisms, and social behaviors?
  • How do I imagine my life unfolding in the future, socially and materially? Do I feel optimistic that “a good life” is possible for me?

If your honest answer is “no” to most of these questions, then your subconscious is going to feel extremely upset. It will also feel like it’s having to strain very hard on a daily basis to carry out its necessary tasks with insufficient resources. Notice how you chose the word “terror” as a fitting description for how you feel internally. That’s a very strong word, but it’s not surprising that you feel this way when you are answering “no” to most of the questions above.

It’s helpful to realize that your subconscious takes personal responsibility for managing your conscious and your body, while your soul primarily looks out for itself. What this means is that when your body is stressed, your subconscious will react to this situation faster and more negatively than your soul. The reverse is also true: your two elements (body & conscious) that feel especially dependent on your subconscious will feel much more concerned than your soul about your subconscious being stressed.

A metaphor will make this more clear. If you read about a boy in the news getting hit by a car, that’s a sad thing. But if it is your own son who gets hit, your reaction will be much stronger. The difference in reaction is due to the difference in how you view the two boys. The boy in the news is a stranger to you, and you don’t feel a strong connection to him, but your own son depends on you for his well-being, so you can’t help but feel a sense of personal responsibility for what happens to him.

In many ways, your subconscious acts like a parent to your body and conscious, whereas your soul and subconscious view each other more like peer coworkers who are trying to manage a project together. Because your soul does not view your subconscious as a parent figure, it can act rather indifferent to your subconscious’ distress. Your body and conscious are not able to treat your subconscious’ distress with such indifference, because they feel so dependent on it.

Now the fact that your soul is currently displaying such calm in the face of your subconscious being so upset suggests that your soul might be putting extra effort into trying to ignore what is happening to its peer. Often this kind of dynamic occurs when the soul has a condescending attitude towards the subconscious. This is a very common issue for humans: their souls take a hostile stance towards their subconscious counterparts, often scoffing at the mind’s problems and refusing to see those problems as legitimate. When souls behave this way, they often try to control your choices and behaviors to ensure that their own needs are being met while the mind keeps getting snubbed. For example, you might find yourself often doing spiritual meditations or reading spiritual materials which cause your soul to feel uplifted and refreshed while you keep shoving away thoughts about how much certain people are stressing you in life or thoughts about past experiences that you still find upsetting. While your soul is getting it’s own needs met, your subconscious is essentially being told: “Shut up and go away because no one cares about you.”

The longer this sort of situation goes on, the more stressed your subconscious will become. The more stressed it becomes, the less resources it will have, and the more critical tasks it will start to either skip or miss.

Extreme mood swings are very taxing to the body. When mood swings are primarily the body’s response to the subconscious, its positive swings can be a result of the body expressing deep relief when the subconscious seems to calm down, while the negative swings can be the body panicking over the subconscious becoming agitated again. But in your case, since you had negative answers to most of the mind questions, it sounds more likely that your mood swings are being caused by the subconscious losing its ability to function smoothly because it is so frazzled with stress.

Suppose you are trying to cook a complex pastry at the same time as you’re trying to digest the news that someone you’ve never heard of has accused you of murdering her cousin. Now the police are acting like you’re a prime suspect, your lawyer is acting like the evidence against you is compelling, and you have an appointment to get grilled by the police the following morning. How good are you going to do at your baking project? You’re going to keep making mistakes, aren’t you? With such upsetting thoughts swirling around in your mind, you’re going to forget ingredients, do things in the wrong order, skip certain steps and spill a lot more than you normally would. But why is this? Why do we become physically impaired when we are mentally stressed? Why do we trip more, spill more, and struggle to hold up our end of a conversation when we have major worries weighing on our minds? It’s because the subconscious plays a critical role in helping the body run smoothly: physically, verbally, emotionally, and internally. When the subconscious becomes too stressed, it starts dropping balls, and as a result, your body starts acting like the car with engine problems that keeps lurching forward with violent jerks instead of smoothly cruising along. Your immune system becomes slower and weaker in its defensive responses, your digestive system struggles to break down your food, your physical energy plummets, and your moods start shifting dramatically over every little thing while your overall outlook on life becomes more and more grim.

To help myself, should I try to do the exercises in Practical Steps for Correcting Traumatic Beliefs, focusing on all of the mind questions that I answered negatively?

I would be very interested to know how successful you are at doing the exercises in that post. If your soul is currently harboring a negative “I’m doing fine, and I don’t really care about what your problems are” attitude towards your mind, you might find your mind withholding specific answers to the exercises I recommend. The fact that you used such vague terms to describe your feelings (“internal terror” instead of specifically mentioning what you are terrified of) suggests you might not have conscious awareness of what the root causes of your mind’s stress are. When the conscious is unaware of root causes, it’s because the subconscious is intentionally blocking it from accessing that information. The subconscious does this for two reasons: to protect the fragile conscious from stress, and to prevent a hostile soul from gaining more ammo that it can use to harass the mind. It’s rather like you blocking a mean gossiper on Facebook so she can’t get more information about your personal life which she can then twist into nasty slander. It angers your mind when your soul invalidates its problems, and it will start withholding information from the soul as a self-defense measure when it’s feeling too picked on.

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