Being in tune with your body, I believe, is the first step to improving overall wellness. Your body sends your brain and nervous system signals all day to help with promoting your ability to survive and thrive as it interacts with your environment and other humans. How you manage those signals in your mind is key to how your body will react either with healing or with promoting disease. You can either dwell in a negative headspace about what your body is saying or you can approach your body with gratitude and a sense of wellbeing even when something hurts or doesn’t feel quite right. I know, I know you may be thinking ok this sounds like a bunch of high-level yogis, meditation type of advice that may feel outside of the scope of your own personal reality, but really, I have found the simplest way to make a healthy change more effective is to start by believing it will be effective. God created humans with a mind that can dream up, produce, and imagine things that often feel completely unattainable or out of this world impossible, however, I would argue that the most powerful force on this earth is the human mind. When you decide to harness this power for positivity and healing, you will be amazed at the transformation.
There are multiple medical and psychological studies that document the power of positivity and how this positive mindset can improve health outcomes. While the mechanisms behind this power are still being sorted out, one thing is certain: positive thinking improves outcomes and reduces disease risk in nearly every area of your body. Standford Center for Integrative Medicine’s article written by Ernest and Isadora Rosenbaum entitled: The Will to Live does a wonderful job of explaining this phenomena as it relates to cancer patients. Johns Hopkins University also does a great job of summing this up as well. Here is an excerpt from the article The Power of Positive Thinking:
Hope and Your Heart
The mechanism for the connection between health and positivity remains murky, but researchers suspect that people who are more positive may be better protected against the inflammatory damage of stress. Another possibility is that hope and positivity help people make better health and life decisions and focus more on long-term goals. Studies also find that negative emotions can weaken immune response.
What is clear, however, is that there is definitely a strong link between “positivity” and health. Additional studies have found that a positive attitude improves outcomes and life satisfaction across a spectrum of conditions—including traumatic brain injury, stroke and brain tumors.
In short, how does this work, we’re not really scientifically sure, but does it work, well, at best yes; and at worst it cannot harm you. Through my lived experiences I do believe having faith in what you are doing and how you are doing it does help improve your outcomes to make all the work that you put into your health even more productive. I am not advocating for this mind work to take the place of medical intervention or healthy living, just wanting to help you understand how the power of positivity can improve your outcomes.
For me it comes down to the simple concept of living with intention in everything that I do. I wake up thinking about my gratitude for God and my life and then continue to use my mind to live in the moment and try to make choices with true intention throughout the remainder of my day. What better way to show gratitude to your Creator than to treat the house of His spirit, your body, with power and love?
Here are some simple ways that I try to harness this power when making healthy choices:
1. While eating my raspberry smoothie in the mornings, I think about how the antioxidant packed drink is working to heal my cells and improve my digestion. I have gratitude for the ability to wake up and power my body so effectively right away in the morning. When eating an egg, I
think about how the protein is fueling my muscles from my work out.
2. When exercising, I thank God for my body’s abilities and strength.
3. When walking in nature I take in the beauty and truly remember how grateful I am for clean air and calm surroundings.
4. If I decide to indulge in the chocolate cake at a birthday party, I try to savor the joy in having a treat.
5. Taking down time to decompress with my kiddos reminds me of my blessings and reminds me to find joy in the little things.
6. In my work, I strive to have a servant heart that is open to meeting people where they are.
Really, it comes down to just being more mindful and intentional about the daily choices that you make. When you start with the small things, that will begin to translate to the bigger things and before you know it, all that you do is less mundane, routine, or done on autopilot. Which intern will make you more aware of what you want to be doing and what you want to be getting out of this life. You will be living with purpose, more fulfillment, more energy, and more in tune with God’s plan for your life.
What you believe to be true often becomes your reality. So, stop limiting your abilities with negative self-talk and start unlocking your full potential with the power of gratitude and positivity in your own life and health journey.
With love, Aletha