Often, when you hear talk of detox, it centers on food – avoid these foods, add in those foods. In my experience, many people are able to make changes to their diet in the short term. Their bodily symptoms clear up, and they feel better physically. However, after a while, these positive changes seem to lessen or vanish altogether. There is something holding us back from achieving long-term health through detox – and the answer lies in the mind.
Over the past few decades, research has emerged proving the power of the ancient concept of mind-body medicine. In fact, studies have shown that mind-body therapies were effective in treating a host of diseases, including coronary artery disease, headaches, insomnia, incontinence, chronic low back pain, hypertension, and arthritis. Truly, the mind and body are one, and to achieve full-spectrum healing, we must improve our thoughts as well as our diet.
It’s been estimated that we think 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day – significantly more calories than we eat! Clearly, monitoring and improving our thoughts can be just as powerful, if not more, than controlling what we put into our bodies. If we’re not working on improving our thoughts, healing is incomplete.
Research has shown that our thoughts can translate into bodily symptoms –one study found that negative thoughts increases inflammation in our body. Another famous study looked at residents in Framingham, Massachusetts. They found that women who believed that they were more likely to suffer a heart attack were 3.7 times as likely to die of coronary conditions as were women who believed they were less likely to die of such symptoms. Truly, the power of our mind is immense and has real, measureable effects on our physical health.
Detoxing our mind and taking control over our thoughts may seem like daunting tasks – how do we manipulate the tens of thousands of thoughts that stream through our minds every day? I have tackled this problem with thousands of clients, and generated three steps to get you begin the process.
Try The Following For The Journey To Mental Transformation
1. Know Your Thoughts
You have to know and understand what you are thinking to know what you need to change. Set a timer for three minutes, and, on a piece of paper, write down as many thoughts as you can. When you are done, scrutinize your thoughts. What are the majority of thoughts telling you? Are they positive or negative? Affirming or harmful? Treat them as you would a review of your diet – is your thought diet generally healthy, or are there places to make improvements? Note your overall impressions of your thought landscape.
2. Reset Your Thoughts
When completing step one, you likely found a few common thought patterns that weren’t healthy or self-serving. To start, choose one negative thought pattern to focus on – maybe you found that you had a lot of negative thoughts about your body, your relationships, or your job. Once you have identified that thought pattern, watch for it in your stream of thoughts. Every time it comes up, try the Cancel-Reset-Replace technique, every time you find yourself thinking my body isn’t good enough, say to yourself cancel, and replace the thought with something that is affirmative and positive, like my body nourishes and sustains me. You will find that after a while, that negative thought will appear less and less as you train your mind towards positivity. Continue to use this method with any thoughts that are not self-serving – you will be amazed at the results.
3. Give More Gratitude In Your Thoughts
Giving gratitude is an incredibly powerful tool to bring more positivity and healing into your thoughts. This doesn’t mean that every thought you have should be happy and thankful. We are human, after all! Instead, try starting with this: At the end of every day, look back and think of one thing that you are grateful for that day, like a supportive friend or a delicious, nourishing meal. Once you’ve highlighted that person, thing, or event, take a second to express that gratefulness whenever it comes up again in your thoughts. Gratefulness has a huge positive effect on your well-being, and helps to squash a lot of negative thinking and pessimism that may be running rampant in your thoughts.
Changing your thought pattern is truly a lifelong endeavor. While it may seem overwhelming at first, break it into easier-to-digest pieces by tackling just one negative thought at a time. Each of the steps above takes only a second or two, and when practiced in the long-term, can have incredible effects on your health, happiness, and well-being.