Do your thoughts impact your health? Do your thoughts impact if you succeed or fail? Based on my personal experience and knowledge, the answer is yes to both questions. Science tells us that the body is an integrated unit; everything is connected and yes, the mind & body are connected in many ways. Everything that affects the physiology affects the mind; and everything that affects the mind, affects the physiology. We are what we think and what we believe.
When we are stressed, our thoughts become toxic to our system – people become negative, fearful and/or depressed. Our self-talk is no longer positive, we can no longer do things, we feel we aren’t good enough, and we expect bad things to happen. Studies have shown these types of thoughts influence the same areas of the brain as do physical traumas and chemical toxin exposures. And yikes, that can be scary! Can our thoughts really affect our health?
There is a part of our nervous system called the Sympathetic branch, the “fight or flight”, you know….a mean scary dog suddenly jumps out at you (or in the olden days, it was a saber tooth tiger or a lion) and suddenly you get a burst of energy and you run away (flight). Or in some cases, you stay and fight the beast. Either way, your brain takes over and you don’t even have much control over it….it just happens.
And then there is the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest or digest part. The part that makes our heart beat, that controls our breathing & respiration, and the part that calms us. For chiropractors, it’s the upper neck (atlas) adjustment, the cranial work, and the sacral adjustment.
These days, a majority of people are in constant fight or flight….and most aren’t even aware of it. Being stuck in anger, frustration, resentment or other negative attitudes cause internal stress in our system. Our bodies cannot be in a state of relaxation and fight/flight at the same time. If you are someone who tosses and turns all night long, this could be you. And sleep is when we repair and grow. So, if you don’t get enough consistent sleep, eventually the body will break down, sometimes slowly, and health deteriorates. Aches and pains happen more often, injuries become more chronic, digestive disturbances and headaches just never go away, and the list goes on.
Professional athletes often use mental imagery to help accomplish their goals; constantly visualizing that perfect shot, the perfect pass, the amazing catch. They see it in their mind, over and over again. But you don’t have to be an athlete to have that kind of vision – we can all use the power of positive thoughts! With what’s going on in our country (and our world) right now, it’s so easy to fall into those negative thoughts. Many people are scared, angry and afraid…and negative thoughts ensue.
What’s the best thing to do? Turn off the news. Watch it for 5 minutes a day to get the headlines, but that’s it. There is nothing positive there, and these days, I really even question the validity of what is reported. Start changing your thought process. Meditate, pray, go for a walk, or whatever it is that changes your mind. And believe in what you are saying. Even if you don’t believe initially, the more you say positive things, the more you pray, the more it will happen.
Our thoughts become our reality. Let’s get away from this negative, sick thinking and change it to something positive. There is a silver lining in everything. Bad things happen, and bad things are happening now …. yet something good may come out of this. So, change your thought process. Get adjusted – that cranial sacral adjustment that kicks in that parasympathetic nervous system may help. Getting plenty of sleep may help. Get in daily exercise. Eat healthy. Do these things to take care of you, inspire and be a role model for your family and friends. Do what you have control over, and make you the best YOU possible.