Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this question about positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself, and whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic — and it may even affect your health.
Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Practice overcoming negative self-talk with examples provided. Did You Know…that the power can produce health-enhancing biochemicals superior to any that a pharmaceutical company could ever manufacture–without any adverse side effects?
A very interesting study was done by Dr. Masuro Emoto, he performed a series of experiments observing the physical effect of words, prayers, music and environment on the crystalline structure of water. Emoto hired photographers to take pictures of water after being exposed to the different variables and subsequently frozen so that they would form crystalline structures. The results were amazing. After observing these miraculous results, Dr. Emoto went on to type out different words, both positive and negative in nature, and taped them to containers full of water. Here is a clip from the movie “what the bleep” that shows his work.
After hearing about these studies and acknowledging that we are 80% water, it begins to make more sense. Thoughts are Physically Real–They Cause Biological and Physiological Effect. Dr. Joe Dispenza talks about how our brain works. He talks about the tiny nerve cells in the brain called neurons and how they have tiny branches reaching out to other neurons forming neuron-networks. Each place where they connect is integrated into a thought or a memory. He goes on to say that the brain does not know the difference between what it sees in its environment and what it remembers because the same neuro networks are firing – triggered. This means that we can break a habit or make a habit simply by repeating something over and over again in our mind or by actually doing it. If we want to break a habit it the neuron network will break up when we stop doing it over a certain time. If we want to learn something new and create a new habit it will cause the creation of a new network reinforcing the habit.
Let’s rewire our thought patterns into healthy positive medicine.
Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Since having children & developing a auto immune disease, I’ve learned that alot of my negative thoughts are just fear. I catch myself now, mid thought and I correct myself. For example, since my parents died young, I worry about dying young, when I catch myself having these very serious thoughts, I remind myself “ This is fear, this isn’t real”. Catching yourself & labeling what’s going on disrupts this bad thought pattern right in its tracks.You are not your thoughts. If you are going too far down the “rabbit hole” its time to get into present moment meditation or start your list of things you appreciate & are happy about. Appreciation is a powerful excercise that can transform your life.
Present moment meditation can simply consist of you getting out of your head and into your body. Deeply inhale & begin to focus on each body part one at a time from your feet up to your head. How are might feet feeling? wiggle them. How are my calves? squeeze them & relax. Keep going through each part of your body & breathing. You could also check in to what’s going on around you. Focus. What birds are singing, where are they. What’s the tempature? pay attention. Be here, now.
In Kundalini yoga, there are many kriyas & meditations force you to do nothing but be present and breathe. Chanting a mantra, deep breathing & at the same time doing something with your body leaves no room to allow monkey brain to take over. I suggest trying out a kundalini yoga class or try kirtan kriya.
Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
When you consider that the average human being thinks of approximately 60,000 thoughts per day…the impact our thoughts have on both our mental and physical health becomes clear. Eventually your thoughts will either build you up or wear you down.
A great example is the “placebo effect,” when someone believes in a treatment he or she is receiving will indeed relieve the pain, it does. Such positive and potent thoughts release natural chemicals called endorphins, which contain the powerful cancer fighting chemicals interleukin and interferon. Dr. Larry Dossey, a supporter of mind-body study, explains the fundamental principle behind the surprising effects of placebos: The body responds to mental input as if it were physically real.
The power of positive thoughts, are a natural alternative to cancer drugs–and could “make a million dollars worth of Interleukin-2,” according to Deepak Chopra, M.D. And the best part is that there are none of the side effects that accompany drug use–and they cost nothing!
When you think peaceful and tranquil thoughts, your body–specifically, your leukocytes, adrenal cells and macrophages–will start producing a tranquilizing biochemical similar to Valium. Unlike the drug Valium that has side effects, the tranquilizing chemical produced by the body has no side effects and supports the proper functioning of the immune system.
Do you see the connection? Thoughts trigger emotions, which activate organs, which in turn affect our health. Therefore, we hold in our power the ability to transmute our thoughts into positive ones, thereby creating a cascade of endorphins that deliver beneficial healing effects.
This is why Visualization might be a technique that might help when you catch yourself going down the slippery slope of negative thoughts. One way is by going to your happy place, imagine you are really there, wether it be the beach or in your comfy cozy bed with a loved one. Another way is by imagining you are looking back at the situation laughing at how everything worked out just fine, what a waste of time and energy being negative is. But really feel it when you visualize. The body responds to mental input as if it were physically real. Images create bodily changes–just as if the experience were really happening. For example, if you imagine yourself lying on a beach in the sun, you become relaxed, your peripheral blood vessels dilate, and your hands become warm, as in the real thing.”
If we believe we aren’t going to feel better, we limit any possible solutions for becoming well. If we are caught up in a victim mentality and expect someone or something else to “fix” us, then we will never the take the necessary steps to improve our life. Constantly identifying with disease creates blinders to the blessings and positive aspects of health that exist in one’s life. You might want to check in and ask yourself “ Do I feel I deserve to be happy?. You DO deserve to be happy.
If you feel negative thoughts or anxiety are taking over and you need help, I recommend checking out bio feedback or hypnotherapy. Stress can take its toll on our bodies. Stress is our body’s response to input to our brain, which again is influenced by our perception and the way we think. Our bodies will react to our thoughts the same way they will react to a tiger that is attacking us. If our minds are caught up dwelling in the past or worrying about the future, we are constantly exposing ourselves to our body’s stress chemicals. It is only in the present moment that we can consciously control the stress response.
Consciously direct your mind to think positive thoughts that cause your body to produce health-enhancing biochemicals. This has successfully been done through biofeedback, guided imagery, meditation, deep breathing and hypnosis. When done right, these practices result in increased longevity, lowered stress levels, a healthy immune system and a reduced risk of heart disease.