You’ve probably heard the saying ‘a healthy mind creates a healthy body’ or learned in school that the mind controls the body through the central nervous system. Here are the ABCs to get you started on using self-improvement to benefit your health.
A – Awareness
Your thoughts are more powerful in creating a healthy body than you might realise. Most people know that if they want to be healthy it’s about eating the right foods and exercising regularly. Come on, it’s not rocket science! Somehow though, it’s still easy to get side-tracked by the pizza, burger, and chips! That’s a pattern of thinking and behaviour that would be useful to unlearn if you want to be healthy.
It was in the late 1960s that neurotransmitters were discovered. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that travel through the body carrying messages. Indeed, Deepak Chopra, in his book, Quantum Healing, described it by saying every single cell in your body is bathed in neurotransmitters. This also means that every single cell in your body is eavesdropping on your internal self-chatter. Simply put, every single cell in your body knows what you are thinking.
Consider the impact on the physical body of thoughts that you hold for a whole day, or a week, or a month, or even many years. You can then begin to understand why so many people develop psychosomatic illnesses and diseases in their body. Negative thoughts such as ‘I don’t deserve anything better’ or ‘I’ll never amount to anything’ have a huge impact on your body.
B – Beliefs
A belief is something that you think over and over again until it eventually becomes true for you. It does not necessarily mean that it is right or even that it is true, however. Your beliefs create perceptions that affect your self-esteem, mental and physical health, as well as other areas of your life.
The placebo is a wonderful example of challenging beliefs about what is possible and highlights the impact our beliefs have over our health. Tests and trials have proven again and again that placebos often work as well or even better than drugs or surgery. It appears the belief that the drug will work is often all that is needed to allow the healing to occur. It is your beliefs that create your experiences in life. So, if your life is based on your beliefs, what if your beliefs are not true?
The key here is to start challenging the truth of your beliefs.
C – Change
It was once believed that the human brain had a relatively small window of opportunity to develop new pathways in a person’s life, and after that the pathways became carved in stone, so to speak. It’s probably a reason you may have heard older people say, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” or “I’m too old to change.” The field of neuroplasticity is opening up to new possibilities on how learning takes place, with the good news being that you are never too old to learn. Neuroplasticity is what makes personal growth and development possible and refers to the brain’s ability to restructure itself after training or practice.
The other year I met an interesting scientist in Mexico. She had been in hospital for several months just prior to our meeting. I was surprised because her arms were toned with the muscles well-defined as if she had been working out at the gym on a regular basis. She told me that in a way, she had been going to the gym and working out every day…except the gym she was using was in her mind! Hmm, that may be food for thought if you dislike the gym or cannot always get a workout in.
You have the power to change the way you think! Imagine the implications on all areas of your health when you set aside time to mentally visualise and rehearse a new pattern of thinking.
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