Every spiritual teacher reminds humankind of compassion, love, peace and wellness. Unfortunately, fear overshadows these birthrights, causing generations to grow up in chaos, fear, judgment and disconnect.

In these unpredictable times, tragic events invoke pause, yet confusion. How to feel? What to say? What to do? Inspirational figures invite us to tune in to positive, loving vibes known to spread beyond the mind (science has proven magnanimous effects of these energies!). Science does not have to prove that all humans want to feel well, be happy, to love and be loved.

Uncertain about seemingly simple ways to reach out—such as this article—and with fear of being judged, I ground myself in what I know to be true: that every human body is an intricate system fueled by food, energy, circumstances and thoughts. While I appreciate the science of nutrient balance, cellular metabolism and system function, it’s abundantly clear that the human mind directs the well-being of the human body. It sounds simple and, perhaps to some, privileged. Yet if we think we are well, we are.

In the scientific world, we revert to research on the “gut-brain” connection, which certainly affects neurotransmitters and immunity. Our intellect, however, transcribes our well-being: Thoughts fuel feelings, then actions and, ultimately, outcomes. Thus, with physical pain, it’s imperative to address mental and emotional imbalances. When we peel away the layers, the root cause of many health concerns is fear, worry, trauma, stress, distress, lack of self-worth. Just as anger is a call for help, physical pain is a call for introspection. Hatred, judgment, anxiety, criticism—these are hidden requests to be heard, accepted, loved, cared for and understood. Inner conflict stresses the body, and stress shifts biochemical energies, depletes nutrients, exacerbates chronic conditions and leads to disease. The body outside represents what’s going on inside.

We don’t consciously choose illness, though some spiritual leaders say we do! We can, consciously, choose health. This topic is controversial, and complex. How, though, does the world heal inside and out? I don’t have the answers. I’m just a stress nutritionist, after all.

However, think about a world in which we are taught to prioritize wellness over illness, knowing it’s our birthright to be well. Rather than celebrate sickness, honor well-being. Wellness will permeate, magnetize and uplift. This is not my concept. This is a historical teaching of revered humans, and a philosophy I believe in deeply, inside. I hope it ripples outward.

In my work, it’s impossible to discuss diet without considering a lifetime of experiences and excuses that slowly wear down mental and physical vitality. My nutrition mission is to reconnect people with the sources of their physical pain, undesirable life habits and emotional fears and help them climb out of the depths of societal pressures and cultural norms. One step at a time, we transform what’s inside, to ultimately present well outside—not just on Facebook.

During this restless time, I hope many people are cracking open, discovering ways we have allowed ourselves—as individuals and as societies—to become unwell. Inside and outside, we humans are more alike than different, despite varying circumstances.

In the words of Mother Teresa, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one come to you without leaving happier.”

Jamie Truppi, MSN, is an integrative nutritionist focusing on functional foods and family wellness.

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