“Death and life are in the power of the tong, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Proverbs 18:21)
We’ve all heard it, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. In fact, don’t even think it! Dr. Caroline Leaf who is a cognitive neuroscientist has written many books on how your thoughts impact your brain health and how you talk and think matter. Her 21 day brain detox outlines how and why your thoughts shape your outlook and the health of your brain and body, not the other way around. There is an image on page 21 of her book ‘Switch On Your Brain’ that shows the illustration of a toxic thought and a healthy thought. You can see the difference because thoughts are real and have an actual affect the health of your brain and body.
Stress spikes your blood pressure, and can lead to heart disease, and diabetes. If its strong enough, a prolonged stress response can even cause autoimmune diseases! We know and believe how these negative emotions effect our health so why is it so hard to believe that positive emotions effect our health as well. According to https://psychcentral.com/blog/words-can-change-your-brain/ “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress ” In other words, YOU control how your genes are expressed by weather you think and say good words or toxic words. Science is taking away the excuses we all hide behind. Excuses that take away our responsibility over the health of our bodies and minds. https://www.td.org/insights/how-words-affect-our-brains says that “What we think about actually rewires our brains—for better or worse. This is true whether we are reacting to spoken words delivered by someone else, or to the inner self-talk that we hear ourselves “saying” inside our heads.” So for heaven’s sake, be nice to yourself!
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul, and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:2
I am a hobby aerialist which for those of you who don’t know, aerial is a physically and mentally demanding sport. After a session on the silks, I am SORE. So like any good athlete, I stretch and massage out my sore muscles and I found something interesting. When I focus positively toward the muscle I am massaging or stretching, it seems to heal quicker and become stronger than when I didn’t! Positive vibes and thoughts have made me gain muscle quicker and my flexibility has improved dramatically since I started doing this. Positive words and positive intentions make a difference. When I took pole classes too, the class was a negativity free zone. Only positive and encouraging words where allowed behind the doors of my studio. On top of making most women feel more secure in an environment that exposes our least favorite part of our bodies, our midsections, this space allowed most of us to heal in one form or another.
We had this exercise where we would sit in front of the mirror and look at ourselves. Looking ourselves in the eye, as a group, we would tell ourselves “I love you and I accept you. You are an amazing human being. You are strong, you are sexy, you are beautiful. No matter what, I’m here for you and I accept you for who you are.” This exercise was one of my favorites because 90% of the time, it would stir up so much emotion in me that I would cry. It made me feel loved and accepted and worthy of that love and acceptance. Those words had a powerful effect on every woman in that room. What of words do you usually say to yourself when you look in the mirror? I’m going to bet that they aren’t very nice. Do you point out your flaws? Do you wish you looked differently? It’s no wonder we as a society have body image issues. This is the only body you have, love it for the way it is.
This week, pay attention to the thoughts you have. Do you talk trash about people inside your head where they can’t listen? Do you trash talk yourself inside your head? For every toxic thought you have about someone else, say two nice things. For every toxic thought you have about yourself, say 3 nice things. Why? Dr. Caroline Leaf says that what you think about the most will grow. This way you will be thinking kind and healthy thoughts more often than you are thinking the toxic thoughts so healthy thoughts will grow more. The more you do this, the easier it gets and I am telling you from experience, you WILL find a happier and healthier you far sooner than you think. 😉