“Everything you have in your life right now, was once a thought in your mind.”
The average person has about 70,000 thoughts per day. How many of those thoughts are positive? How many are negative? Why does this even matter?
Negative thoughts and negativity in general affect us in more ways than we realize. They don’t just affect us mentally and emotionally, they also have a major physical effect on our bodies!
This process can be explained on a cellular level. We have thousands of receptors on each and every cell in our body (these receive signals). Anytime that we experience any feeling such as happiness, sadness, anger, or excitement, each emotion releases neuropeptides, which are small protein-like molecules that neurons use to communicate with each other. When this happens, these neuropeptides travel through the body and connect with the receptors on each cell. This connection physically changes the structure of each cell. At the same time, our cells are constantly dividing. Now if a cell has been exposed to a specific emotion more than others, the new cells that are made through division will have more receptors that match with that specific emotion’s neuropeptides. So if your cells are getting overwhelmed by negative emotions constantly, you are basically responsible for programming your cells to receive even more of these negative neuropeptides in the future. What’s worse is that each future cell that is made will have less receptors for positive emotions, which will make you more prone to negativity. It is like an addiction, but to an emotion. It is pretty unbelievable to think that all this can be going on inside of us on such a small level without us even being aware of it. It is important to note that every cell in our body is replaced every two months, so changing our attitude is a process that we need to continually work on, and for longer than a few days, in order to really see permanent and positive results. The sooner you start, the sooner your cells will begin to change and attract happiness and positive emotions instead of negative ones.
If thoughts alone are this powerful, what happens when your thoughts are actually motivated and targeted at something specific? Marilyn schlitz who is the vice president of research and education at the Institute of Noetic Sciences defines this as intention, or “the projection of awareness, with purpose and efficacy, toward some object or outcome.” The effects of thoughts and intention have been experienced by many people. Some may not really understand why it works, but know that it does. One example of is through prayer, when people believe their higher power has answered them and made what they have been praying for possible. This can also explain the placebo effect, which works because of the power of your thoughts and believing in something! This can also be explained another way.
Quantum physics basically teaches us that all subatomic particles generate a field by passing energy between them endlessly back and forth. Because this field exists, it suggests that all matter in the universe is connected on a level as small as our atoms through a constant quantum energy exchange. There is more evidence that suggests that each one of us is also made up of vibrational energy that is constantly interacting with the huge energy field out there. Finally, well designed experiments were conducted that suggest that our consciousness is an energy outside of our bodies, and it has the capacity to change physical matter. All this research suggests that thoughts and intentions are actual “things” with powerful energy that can influence other things like cells and even entire multi celled organisms like human beings!
Why is it so important to get in the right mindset and learn to control our thoughts? Not only will it make us happier in the process, but it will also make us healthier.
There has been a surge of emerging research about how thoughts affect your body and more importantly your health. It has been shown that there is a connection between your mind, your body, and your emotions. Because they are connected, changes in one part will produce changes in the others. These three parts have a vibration of energy that they give off, each with a different energetic frequency. Anytime a change occurs, whether it affects the physical, mental, or emotional body, we are able to respond to this change and return back to normal pretty easily. However, if the mental body is unable to return back to “base” with ease, this is when we begin to see signs of disorders and disease occurring.
When we have a negative thought, it takes a place in our consciousness. It remains there, and the more and more a person has this negative thought, it grows stronger. For some, it becomes so strong that it might develop into believing that this negative thought is true. When this belief is formed, this person’s emotions get stuck in this negative state, which causes the body to become stressed. When the body stays in this constant state of stress, our body gets worn down and this causes our defenses and immune system to weaken or stop working. This allows the opportunity for disease to manifest while our guard is down. An explanation for this could be that there is a direct connection between the central nervous system and the immune system, where the two can communicate back and forth. This means that the brain, (part of the central nervous system and center for your thoughts), can influence the immune system.
Negative thoughts are one of the more common causes of stress, and stress is known as the body’s silent killer. Stress results from a person’s response to anything that goes on around them, and NOT the event that is actually happening. Not all stress is bad, especially the kind that happens when we are excited, or the kind that comes from the fight or flight response when we are in danger. Chronic and constant stress, however, has negative results on our system. One of the most common results of stress is chronic inflammation which is the root of many illnesses and disorders. The more stressed out we get, the more our energy flow between the three body systems is disturbed. The good news is that we can control the amount of stress we put on our body by being aware of the mind-body connection, its interaction, and ways to balance it, in order to improve our quality of life.
So what we need to take away from this is mind over matter! The best way to do this is anytime we have a negative thought, immediately replace it with a positive one. After all, we can only have one thought at a time. When we get in the habit of this, we will constantly be more mindful of our negativity and replace it with positivity. If stress is an issue, take a look at what you can change to alleviate that stress, or deal with it better using stress relief techniques such as meditation, muscle relaxation, and breathing. Read more about specific stress reduction techniques in the article Stress-LESS! The great news is that we can do something about our thoughts and therefore take our health into our own hands. We have to change the way we think in order to break the cycle of negativity, and we can start today. It doesn't require buying any special equipment, or going anywhere specific. All it takes is our commitment to ourselves and practice!