Your mind and your body are both individually powerful. They are responsible for our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes as well as our biological functioning. They work together in dealing with anything we face – positive or negative. Here’s a simple example – if we see a house that reminds us of the one in which we grew up, our body may get a warm feeling and a smile forms as happy memories begin to enter our mind. The body and mind together recall the feelings and experiences from the past and react as if we were back in that time and place. Another example would be if we are walking down a street at night alone and two people approach and appear threatening. Our bodies will tense up and we begin to look around as adrenaline starts moving through the body. We will then begin to think of actions we might take to avoid possible danger – this is the automatic fight or flight reaction.
In both examples, experiences from the past and/or knowledge are conditioned into our brains, and the body responds automatically – even if a new experience of knowledge is not yet completely know – because our minds have essentially “trained” the body to react in this way. The feelings we have then cause additional thoughts and beliefs in reaction to the feelings – and this pattern can then spiral. A spiral of negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs produces certain proteins in the cells which actually hurt our immune system. As an example, if we go see a doctor because we haven’t been feeling well, and she wants to test for a heart condition based on your symptoms, we often think of the worst possible outcome – our heart must be a ticking time bomb. The body then reacts with feelings of stress, which produces symptoms of a heart conditions; if we continue on this worry-stress spiral, then we have increased our likelihood of having a heart condition!
There is truth to the saying “mind over matter”. We cannot control what happens outside of us, but we do have control over our beliefs and attitudes. We can reprogram our brain and train our mind to impact the biology of our bodies differently. In the same example, if we go see the doctor and she wants to test for a heart condition. We can choose to be optimistic and believe that it is something simple that led to the symptoms and not a heart condition. We can feel grateful and happy that our heart is healthy. The key to all of this is that the thoughts and feelings are tied together. If we believe and feel positively, our body will produce positive proteins that improve our immune system!
Though many have known this throughout history, there are numerous studies that have scientifically examined this connection over the past several years. Our minds truly have the power to affect how we feel and how healthy our bodies are! If you want to learn more about this and/or dig into the scientific details, there are numerous articles, books, videos and websites available. So start thinking and believing I AM HEALTHY and I AM JOYFUL (and any other positive affirmation)!