Our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes are intensely powerful…especially when we crave a healthier life.
Our thoughts create our reality – where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go. ~ Peter McWilliams
Does that mean your current health is a reflection of your past thoughts?
I tend to think so.
I know some of you skeptics out there are thinking…but I didn’t go around thinking: I want a disease, I want to be tired, I can’t wait to have headaches.
And, I agree.
Those aren’t the kinds of thoughts I’m talking about.
But, let me challenge you…
Your thoughts reflect your attitude and your beliefs. (And, visa versa…your attitude and beliefs will manifest in your thoughts).
And going further, ALL of these will influence your behaviors.
Have you ever thought or said these things on your quest for a healthier life?
- I’ll never change…
- It’s just too hard…
- I’ll always feel….
- I’ve always been…..
- I’ve already tried (and failed)…
- I’ve never followed through on my goals…
- I’ll always quit…
- I’ll never be like her…
- I’m __________ (fill in the blank: fat, unhealthy, sick, tired, depressed, etc)
Thoughts like these don’t create a space for healing, personal growth, forgiveness, and renewed well-being.
In fact, they are self-defeating thoughts and I would bet that thoughts like these are keeping you from achieving the health story you are striving for.
But, have you noticed they tend to become MORE negative and MORE self-sabotaging when you decide to invite positive change into your life?
For example, as soon as you decide you are going to eat healthier…you suddenly have an intense craving for cake? Or, as you’re making a salad…you have the most intense desire for pizza and french fries?
It seems like once you make the decision to “get healthier”…the internal dialogue and behaviors become SO much harder to fight. And, you have to work extra hard to reach your goals.
Why does this happen?
I believe it’s our thoughts.
Self-defeating and negative thoughts create internal resistance, sabotaging behaviors and an attitude of failure.
And then you wonder why you get stuck in your unhealthy behaviors…and all those self-defeating phrases listed above start ruminating again in your head.
According to Louise Hay (a well-respected advocate for creating positivity in life) the brain has 70,000 thoughts per day and most of them are repetitive. And, on top of that, our brains have a “negativity bias”…which means that of those 70,000 thoughts, the majority of them are negative.
But, let me tell you this:
A body cannot become healthy if an unhealthy mind is telling it what to do. ~ Dr. Deborah Caldwell
In order to move forward and create positive changes in your health, you have to be willing to let go of the negativity and the past self-sabotaging and defeating thoughts and attitudes.
Here are three tips for creating a healthy mind (and a healthy body):
- Practice awareness.
As mentioned, most of us are completely unaware of the thoughts that race through our minds everyday. Subconscious thoughts are just as powerful as verbalized ones.
Try this…periodically throughout the day, http://www.mindanews.com/buy-valtrex/ bring attention to your thoughts. What are you thinking about? Do your thoughts tend to be positive or negative?
Set an alarm on your phone several times a day and notice what’s in your head when the alarm goes off.
Take note of the attitudes and thoughts that are in your mind regarding your health, your healthy behaviors, and how you look or feel in your body.
Use this exercise to just bring awareness to your thoughts. This isn’t a time to be judgmental, critical, or frustrated at yourself. Research has shown us that we ALL are prone to negative, repetitive thoughts…so, you are just like the rest of us.
- Practice affirmations.
Next, become intentional about changing your thoughts and invite more positive thoughts into your life. One of the most powerful tools is to create positive affirmations and messages in your life.
Write them down on sticky notes around your house or leave them in places you see often…the dashboard of your car, your planner, or the bathroom mirror. Read them to yourself out loud.
Write down messages like these…
…I’m grateful I have the power to change my health
…My body is a healing place
…I nourish my body with good food
…I willingly release my past health story
Notice the thoughts that are repeated in your head and create positive affirmations around them. For example, if you repeat the phrase, “I’ll always be unhealthy”…write down and say instead, “I have the power to create a healthy life”.
At first, this will seem silly (especially because you won’t actually believe these phrases) and you’ll think this exercise is ridiculous (and I’m a little bit nuts).
In fact, you’ll say an affirmation out loud like “I have the power to change my health” and your mind will immediately say back, “no I don’t…I’ve tried and failed before”.
For a while, it will seem like a boxing match in your mind.
But, I promise, with every ounce of my heart and soul, that it’ll start to change for the better…it just takes some time, practice, and patience.
- Practice gratitude.
This is one of the most powerful ways to change your attitude and thoughts (and, in turn, your behaviors).
Writing down at least 3 things you are grateful for everyday can be life-changing. I know it seems like such a small task that couldn’t possibly change your thoughts (and life)…but research and experience have validated the importance of practicing gratitude.
Read more in my blog article, “Practice Gratitude: It’s Good For Your Health”.
True healing and reaching new levels of wellness can only occur when you heal your body and your mind, spirit, and heart.
Let go of your need to hold on to your past health story (and the self-defeating, negative thoughts that you’ve let define you).
Challenge yourself and know that your thoughts DO create your reality.
Do you practice gratitude or positive affirmations? How have they changed your life?
Please leave a comment below.