It’s an obvious fact that the happier you are the healthier you are, and by the same token the healthier you are, the happier you should be. However, you could start out healthy but because of toxic thinking, you could ruin your good health (i.e. alcoholism, emotional eating, sexual addiction, etc.)
What is toxic thinking? Toxic thinking is malignant thought patterns that are a result of how we interpret what happens to us, how we interpret others, how we interpret our emotions, experiences and relationships. And if left unchecked, it can exhaust and drain the life out of us. Just like Instagram has a dozen or more filters for your uploaded photographs, so do people. Your filter(s) were installed mainly in childhood and early adulthood. Unfortunately, some of them are really, really bad. You must first identify them, and then methodically deprogram/delete these vicious negative thought cycles so as to be healthier, stronger, more vibrant and full of energy.
“Toxic beliefs, in one way or another, cause you to hate, run away from or demean the part of you (or others) that feels emotions of vulnerability. This produces reactive behaviors designed to avoid, numb or eliminate painful emotions.”http://blogs.psychcentral.com/relationships/2011/08/the-neuroscience-of-changing-toxic-thinking-or-behavior-patterns/
What studies have been done that link thought life with physical pain?
According to Dr Herbert Benson, MD, and president of Harvard Medical School’s Mind-Body Institute (http://www.massgeneral.org/bhi/research/), toxic thoughts lead to stress, which affects our body’s natural healing capacities. Toxic thinking literally ‘wears down’ the brain and the rest of the body.
A study by the American Medical Association found that stress is a factor in 75% of all illnesses and diseases that people suffer from today. The association between stress and disease is a colossal 85% (Dr Brian Luke Seaward). The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organization has concluded that 80% of cancers are due to lifestyles and are not genetic, and they say this is a conservative number (Cancer statistics and views of causes Science News Vol.115, No 2 (Jan.13 1979), p.23).
According to the American Institute of health, it has been estimated that 75 – 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. http://drleaf.com/blog/you-are-what-you-think-75-98-of-mental-and-physical-illnesses-come-from-our-thought-life/
What studies have done linking self talk and verbal words with outcomes?
According to Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, words can literally change your brain. By holding a positive and optimistic [word] in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity. This area includes specific language centers that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action. And as our research has shown, the longer you concentrate on positive words, the more you begin to affect other areas of the brain. Functions in the parietal lobe start to change, which changes your perception of yourself and the people you interact with. A positive view of yourself will bias you toward seeing the good in others, whereas a negative self-image will include you toward suspicion and doubt. Over time the structure of your thalamus will also change in response to your conscious words, thoughts, and feelings, and we believe that the thalamic changes affect the way in which you perceive reality.”
Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto performed some of the most fascinating experiments on the effect that words have on energy in the 1990’s. When frozen, water that’s free from all impurities will form beautiful ice crystals that look exactly like snowflakes under a microscope. Water that’s polluted, or has additives like fluoride, will freeze without forming crystals. In his experiments, Emoto poured pure water into vials labeled with negative phrases like “I hate you” or “fear.” After 24 hours, the water was frozen, and no longer crystallized under the microscope: It yielded gray, misshapen clumps instead of beautiful lace-like crystals. In contrast, Emoto placed labels that said things like “I Love You,” or “Peace” on vials of polluted water, and after 24 hours, they produced gleaming, perfectly hexagonal crystals. Emoto’s experiments proved that energy generated by positive or negative words can actually change the physical structure of an object. The results of his experiments were detailed in a series of books beginning with The Hidden Messages in Water, where you can see the astounding before and after photos of these incredible water crystals. http://goop.com/the-scary-power-of-negative-words/
Thoughts = Feelings = Words and/or Actions based on those feelings
So now we know the science behind how our thoughts, feelings and words literally affect our physical bodies. So what can we do to change negative cycles and even eventually rid ourselves of toxic thinking?
Have a healthy diet of positive words and conversation (especially about yourself)
Watch what you’re thinking about
Watch what mental images you have of yourself, examine past experiences that have shaped your misperceptions about yourself and others
Envision what the perfect you looks like (inside and out) and then literally start living and behaving like that version of you would. (This is an entire article in and of itself – visualization and how it affects and changes your reality over time)
Lastly, Surround yourself with positive people who build you up. Get rid of negative relationships, and if you can’t (because you’re related to them), then limit your exposure to them.Remember your thoughts and words directly affect your physical experience. Now that you know how important decluttering and detoxing your inner life is, I hope you will start taking steps to identify and change some negative thought patterns, one step at a time, one day at a time.