We can unconsciously add stress to our lives with the stories we tell ourselves about our experiences. While this realization can be painful, it is also a doorway to incredible amounts of freedom and possibility. Today’s podcast guest co-wrote a documentary film entitled: “Is Your Story Making You Sick?” We discussed the potential for relief from pain and stress.
Did you know that the way you think about, and the stories you tell yourself about your life, can create stress for you? There are events that are innately stressful, but we add a lot of stress with the stories we tell ourselves about people and our experiences.
Consider a story you might have about a partner, or a boss: “She will never understand me.”
When you hold that story as the truth, how do you then respond?
Do you feel frustrated in your interactions, and resign yourself to being misunderstood? If you told yourself a different story, could you empower yourself to help you both feel understood?
I’ve had health scares that, when I framed them negatively like “How could this be happening to me?” were much more painful than when I shifted my story to “How can I use this as an opportunity to become healthier or to grow?”
Today’s podcast guest, Dr. Mark Pirtle, produced and co-wrote a full-length documentary film with two-time Emmy Award winning Director, Frances Causey, titled: “Is Your Story Making You Sick?” He also developed a program called SkillfullyAware®, that was the educational foundation for the first ever pain program at Sierra Tucson, a world-renowned in-patient rehabilitation hospital.
In our conversation about the stories we tell ourselves, we discussed…
- How to shift from feeling stuck to feeling empowered with our stories
- How to respond more skillfully and why emotions are contagious
- Control vs influence
- The impact of negative attention bias
- Being co-responsible for the people who show up around us
Mark has studied with world-renowned meditation teachers and is a pioneer in integral thinking in stress relief and recovery. I highly recommend this episode if you are feeling stress or have endured physical or psychological pain. When you’re done with this episode, check out another episode on how to stay healthy in stressful times.
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Synthesizing the disciplines of neuroscience, living systems theory, mindfulness meditation, positive psychology, and narrative medicine, Dr. Mark Pirtle developed an evidence-based program called SkillfullyAware®. SkillfullyAware was the educational foundation for the first ever pain program at Sierra Tucson, a world-renowned in-patient rehabilitation hospital. In 2008, he joined the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine Fellowship Program at the University of Arizona and created the Mindfully Overcoming Addictive Behaviors online class for eMindful.com.ine balance to address the nature of life itself and teaches this message everywhere there is a welcoming ear.
Today, Mark writes, teaches, and speaks about stress and illness, and continues to work with private clients. He offers meditation and transformational courses and hosts workshops and multi-day retreats. He produced and co-wrote a full-length documentary film with two-time Emmy Award winning Director, Frances Causey, titled: “Is Your Story Making You Sick?”