Think Yourself Well: How Our Thoughts Influence Our Health

If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware of the mind-body connection and understand that our thoughts and emotions have the ability to impact our physical health. You also know that chronic stress is bad for our health.

Although most of us know this, we often continue living our daily lives on autopilot, mostly unaware of the feedback loop playing in our heads that form our beliefs about ourselves, our identity, and our capacity to heal. We’ve normalized stress to the point that we just accept we will live with, at best, a low-level anxiety that keeps us in a constant state of fight-or-flight.

On average, humans think 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day! That’s a lot of thoughts to keep track of, but if we can become aware of even a fraction of these thoughts by practicing mindfulness, we can improve our lives, and our health.

Quality of Life Correlates to Quality of Thought

Our thoughts are what create our reality. If we have created a reality where we believe we will never have enough, we probably won’t. Or one where we’ve attached our identity to being sick, we likely won’t get better. If in our reality, the world is a scary and unforgiving place, we will manifest unpleasant experiences and suffering. You see, WE are the architects of our OWN reality.

Because we’ve been taught that our health is something that is predetermined and that illness is caused by two things: 1) our genetics and 2) our lifestyle, we have been led to believe that our physical condition is at the mercy of simple cause and effect.

The latest science reveals that we are not victims of our genetic code—that we have more control over our health than we were taught to believe.

Recent scientific discoveries show that our emotions have the power to:

  • Influence gene expression—literally turning off or on genes that make us well and genes that make us sick.

  • Affect our immune system by turning on or off inflammation.

  • Alter our microbiome. Positive thoughts support the formation of beneficial bacteria that keep our gut flora in balance, while negative thoughts can produce an overgrowth of harmful bacteria.

Perhaps even more important than changing our habits, we must learn to change our thoughts.

How to Think Yourself Well

Step #1: Tune into your inner dialogue
What does the voice in your head sound like? Is it positive and uplifting, or critical and discouraging? Becoming aware of your self-talk will help you to see how it affects the way your body feels.

Step #2: Catch the negative thoughts
When you catch a negative thought as it’s happening, replace it with a positive one. Self-compassion and health-promoting mantras can be helpful. Try saying something to yourself like, “I lovingly do everything I can to assist my body in maintaining perfect health.”

Step #3: Identify limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs are those thoughts that say you’re incapable of having or achieving something you want. They’re not true. Believing in your ability to be successful at getting what you want is a prerequisite to making it happen. You can begin to transform these limiting beliefs into ones that create more possibility in your life by developing an inner dialogue of healing.

Let Us Help You Flourish

At Flourish! we take an integrative approach to treating clients through mindfulness-based psychotherapy, nutritional services, and wellness consultations. A holistic approach allows us to provide individualized treatment, customized to the needs of each client. By evaluating the whole person, we’re able to get to the root cause of your symptoms and provide the most effective treatment plan so that you can live a fuller, happier life.

The most important value that all of our practitioners share: mindfulness. We believe mindfulness is key to cultivating well-being, but we understand that getting there often requires the guidance of an experienced and trusted facilitator.

If you struggle with depression, anxiety, or a mood disorder, coupled with chronic illness and/or digestive problems, you could benefit from the integrative nutrition and mindfulness-based treatment options available at Flourish!

Jaclyn Hubersberger