One thing that you will never expect to hear from your doctor for treatment of any disease is that you should improve your thoughts to improve your health. In fact, most doctors would probably think that an idea as simple as that is ridiculous. But there is a very strong connection between the thoughts you think each day and the status of your health.
In this day and time we are surrounded by a tremendous amount of negativity. Every time you turn on the television, computer, cell phones or open a magazine or newspaper it is there. Social media is a cesspool of negative posts, written to whip the masses into a frenzied outrage at the latest atrocity….and the masses are eagerly complying.
People are complaining about everything from the latest crazy outfit worn by the celebrity of the week, politics, religion, to the state of their own life. A growing number of people are so unhappy, and in such a negative spiral that they now feel the need to lash out in hate against others online that they don’t even know, saying things that are mean, spiteful and downright awful! This is a form of socially acceptable bullying and more and more stressed out and disgruntled people are partaking…as long as they can hide in anonymity behind their keyboard.
The state of anger, frustration, sadness, depression, and anxiety in the world seems to be growing at a fever pitch. And as the discontent grows, so does the amount of chronic and deadly illness that people are experiencing.
The problem with carrying around a negative mindset, complaining, and focusing on a majority of negative thoughts is that this way of thinking creates chronic stress in your body, which ultimately results in disease.
How stress contributes
Stress, in some form, is the cause of all illness based deaths and each person is creating the majority of the stress that they experience right up in their own mind!
Most people probably aren’t even aware that what they are focusing their thoughts on each day is directly affecting their body and state of health. But stress has a direct affect on the immune system and lowers the body’s immune response. Stress also depletes vital nutrients which are utilized en masse by the body in order to help the body to function during times of stress. This leads to nutrient deficiencies that can cause troubling symptoms. It stresses the heart and increases blood pressure, taxes your central nervous system with is in charge of the body’s stress response, slows down the digestive system in order to reserve that energy for dealing with the cause of the stress, tenses your muscles and causes problems with your reproductive system. And if your stress is long term with little to no relief, then you will end up with health problems as a result.
A personal story
I experienced this first hand myself in 20104 after my mother was diagnosed with cancer. The level of stress that I experienced during the months following her diagnosis was so great that I had a number of very scary symptoms that manifested in my body. I ended up with heart palpitations that were so bad that I wound up in the emergency room not once, but twice. I was experiencing major panic attacks and ongoing anxiety and fatigue that left me barely able to function at times. My reflux symptoms were off the charts and my allergies were very bad that fall. I had trouble sleeping and my libido went into hibernation…..all due to stress.
We hear all types of claims that illness is being caused by the food we eat, the chemicals we are exposed to, lack of exercise and lack of sleep. But yet, we are not focusing on our thoughts….which have a greater influence on our body than all of these other things combined!
Many people walk around each day with their thoughts on autopilot, without the awareness of what is even going on in their mind. They are not allowing themselves to be present in the moment to check in and see what they are thinking and how they are feeling, they simply allow their mind to do whatever it wants.
They allow themselves to experience thoughts and feelings that do not feel good, which creates a constant stream of stress in the body. Meanwhile, they allow themselves to stew in those particular negative thoughts and feelings. And these thoughts and feelings may not even be either true or valid….but because they are allowed to run unchecked, the body experiences the resulting stress which if kept unchecked leads to dis-ease in the body.
Thoughts can be changed!
This pattern CAN be changed! By checking in with yourself regularly you can reverse this stress. All you have to do is check in throughout your day to see how you are feeling. If you are feeling nervous, sad, frustrated, angry or any other emotion that doesn’t feel good to you, then you can pretty much guess that your thoughts have been running out of control.
Then you can take a look at what thoughts are going on in your mind. As you recognize the negative thoughts there, ask yourself “is this thought (or feeling) serving me well?” “does it make me feel good?” If you answer no to either question, you have the option to consciously let go of the thought you were thinking on autopilot. Some people are able to just allow the thought to dissipate, but if you struggle with letting go of a negative thought, then substitute and better feeling thought. It can be something simple like gratitude for your life or family, a funny memory or thought of a beautiful place you’ve seen.
What has worked for me
As for me, I have been able to recognize how my unchecked negative thoughts contributed to my chronic stress after my Mom’s cancer diagnosis. I worried regularly back then, and worry is nothing more than thinking negative thoughts about something that “could” happen in the future. I have now been working on a different mindset for awhile and it has been amazing how quickly my stress symptoms went away once I began being more present with my thoughts and letting go of those that were harming me and not serving me!
Remember that stewing in negative thoughts does NOT serve you! If it doesn’t make you feel good and is causing excess stress that harms you, then you can choose to let it go. You absolutely deserve better. It is a choice and is simple to do…it just takes a little focus and practice.
I will be doing a lot more on mindset soon because it is so important. I want to help you to stop feeling crappy and start feeling happy! Are you ready?