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How thoughts affect your health

Did you know your thoughts affect how much fat you burn while you’re at work?… or how much muscle gain you get from your gym workouts?… or how your blood sugar is regulated after a meal? Did you know your thoughts can change your brain, your cells and your genes? How about your ability to develop, – or on the flip side, heal fromdisease?

A growing body of evidence tells us there’s more to health than diet, exercise, and supplements. The mind-body connection is getting so much press these days it’s getting hard to ignore!

Are you experiencing poor health, feel like you’ve addressed diet and lifestyle changes, and still haven’t achieved the outcome you want? Then it might be time to consider what’s knockin’ around inside that melon of yours!

How exactly do thoughts affect your health?

Every thought you think causes your brain to release neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) that allow it to communicate with parts of itself and your nervous system. Neurotransmitters control virtually all of your body’s functions, from hormones to digestion to feeling happy, sad, or stressed. Positive thoughts result in healthy, normal, and even healing bodily functions. And negative ones? Yep, you guessed it. They can do the opposite, and plunge you deep into poor health.
neurotransmitter mood

Want proof that thoughts affect your physiology?

Here’s a quick’n’easy experiment you can try at home.

Close your eyes and imagine a lemon on a cutting board. Then imagine cutting it in half, juice dripping onto your cutting board as you slice. Next, imagine cutting one of those halves into quarters and taking one of the quarters up to your mouth.   You bite deep into the flesh and wrap your lips around the peel making a big yellow smile, sucking in that bitter juice.   Or you could visualise taking that mega lemon hit at the end of a Tequila shot 😉

cutting-board-lemon
At this point your brain has probably manifested a very real physiological response in your saliva glands. But there’s no lemon – only your thoughts of a lemon. What your mind perceives to be real (based on your thoughts) can create an experience that can be just as real as physical reality! And your body responds appropriately.

Science agrees! Thoughts affect your health.

No doubt you’ve heard of the placebo effect; “…a beneficial effect produced by a placebo drug or treatment, which cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment”.

Our thoughts are components of our beliefs. If you *think* a thought about something, chances are you’ll have a corresponding *belief* at a deeper level of consciousness. Placebo effects observed in clinical research have been shown to change the chemistry and circuitry of the brain. Some of the results observed in studies have included physiological and cognitive outcomes.  Placebos have been responsible for resolving fatigue, lowering immune system reactions, elevating hormone levels, improving patients’ eyesight, lowering anxiety, curing depression and much more! [1][2]
In a Harvard University Study [3], a group of hotel room attendants were told that their daily work provided the recommended exercise for a healthy lifestyle. This treatment group was monitored for 4 weeks. A control group of hotel room attendants, who were NOT told that their work provided the recommended exercise, were also monitored for 4 weeks. Staff in the treatment group lost weight… their body fat percentages, waist-to-hip ratios, and systolic blood pressures all dropped! However, room attendants in the control group showed no improvement at all. The changes in the first group happened even though the amount of exercise outside of work, and diets all stayed the same.
Thoughts control health

….. and if you want better results at the gym, then maybe it’s your brain you need to push?

In 2008, an Italian study investigated the effect of placebo on the performance of the quadriceps muscle. [4] A placebo was given to participants under the guise that it was a high dose of caffeine. Subjects who received the placebo experienced increased performance and lowered muscle fatigue. Wouldn’t you love to get more out of your gym session just by believing you could do more..?

The role of thoughts and beliefs on healing from disease.

Joe Dispenza
I’m personally inspired by the story of Dr Joe Dispenza. Joe was involved in a horrific accident leaving him with six broken vertebrae and was told he’d never walk again. [5] In just eleven short weeks, Joe healed himself using only his mind and was able to return to work.
Well-known author Louise Hay wrote her book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ after her own experience of healing cancer. After her diagnosis, she created her own intensive program of affirmations, visualization, nutritional cleansing, and psychotherapy. In six months, she was cancer free.

Does this mean you can use the power of thought to heal yourself from disease, too?

The answer is a resounding YES!

The body has natural self-repair mechanisms that can be flipped on or off based on thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that originate in the mind. Some great authors to follow in addition to Dr Joe Dispenza and Louise Hay include Bruce Lipton, Lissa Rankin, & Candace Pert. These authors didn’t start their journeys as experts on the mind-body connection; like you, they started by experiencing the healing power of thought and belief for themselves.

What can I do if I’m thinking unhelpful thoughts?

If you’ve got a busy mind that doesn’t default to rainbows, sunshine and unicorns, don’t worry – you’re not alone! The good news is, you can rewire your brain with a little bit of practice.

  • Meditation will help to calm your thoughts and your nervous system, but is best done regularly.
  • Straw breathing is a technique that reduces anxiety and increases feelings of relaxation.  (Who can’t spare 4 minutes?)
  • Therapy has shown to rewire the brain. In fact over 20 studies have been published that show structural and functional changes in the brain for patients receiving psychotherapy.
  • Using affirmations daily will create new, more positive habitual thoughts in the areas you want improvement in.
  • Create a gratitude journal, and reap the many benefits of focusing on all the great stuff going on in your life.
Assess your social and psychological environment. Do you have unhealthy relationships that need to end? Do you need to change your career path so you’re doing something you love? Want more support in general? Decide what needs to change and make a to-do list for yourself. Set small goals and work on it a little each day. When you surround yourself with supportive people and you’re spending more time doing what you love, you’re bound to think healthier thoughts!

To learn more  about how thoughts affects you thoughts, contact a holistic doctor in Adelaide now!

 

Our thoughts are powerful! What are your thoughts doing for your health?

Before you ask… sorry, NO, you can’t think an extra pineapple into your wallet…

(or can you?..)