What Are You Thinking?

It’s pretty safe to say that most, if not all of us, know that eating unhealthily can lead to physical distress. If one lives on a diet of doughnuts and soda pop, the chances of experiencing health concerns are much, much higher than for those who take more care to eat healthily.

So we know that good food gives us a better chance at good health, just as caloric, nutrient-lacking food gives us a higher risk of bad health. What about our mental health? There have been many studies that link bad nutrition to increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. But what else do we take in, or internalize, that can also cause our bodies and minds to deteriorate? Just as we internalize food, we also internalize thoughts and emotions. Negative thoughts and emotions have a huge impact on our physical and mental health.

Emotions are “energy in motion”. In fact negative emotions such as resentment, fear, hatred, envy, sadness, depression, etc. can contribute even more to the decline of our health than even the food we consume, according to some studies.

A few years back, I decided to test this idea out. I had been working out and dieting but was still feeling pretty miserable and was not losing weight. It was difficult for me to figure out what the problem was – after all, I was getting in the exercise I needed and consuming healthy foods. Then I read an article on this subject, and took the time to analyze my thought patterns and emotions. I realized that much of what I thought and felt was negative. I assumed that exercise and diet wouldn’t work for me, because it never had in the past, and I carried that negativity around with me, even when exercising. I felt gloomy and depressed, and continued to hate what I saw in the mirror every day. I did not even realize what I was doing to myself.

Soon after, I changed one thing about my daily routine – I started to eliminate negative thoughts and emotions and replace them with positive ones. Whenever one of my common negative thoughts entered my head, I pictured myself pressing the “Delete” key on my keyboard so as to erase the thought. Then I would replace it with something that was positive and truthful (even if I didn’t believe it at the time).

After doing this for 6 weeks, I realized a miracle – I was losing weight! While my exercise and diet hadn’t changed, my thoughts had – and not only was I looking better, but I was feeling amazing.

My little experiment proved how incredibly important it is to alter our way of thinking. We have to commit to the change of thinking, just as one would commit to changing their bad eating habits. Without that commitment, it will be nearly impossible to heal. Instead, learning how to replace these negative thoughts and emotions with positive ones such as love, compassion, faith, hope, peace, forgiveness, etc. can provide us with more vitality, energy, and all around happiness.



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