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The Answer? Yes Your Thoughts May Affect Your Health.
Until about 5 years ago, every year like clockwork during the fall/winter months, I would get sick with the flu. Sometimes so sick that it would literally knock me on my butt for almost a week. The thing is I could never figure out why I would be feeling fine one day then WHAM knocked off my feet to the point that I was not able to function.
It was only later that I was able to find out what the issue was. I’m doing everything right – eating clean, exercising but still had no clue how I could get so sick so fast. Do you know what the reason was? Continue reading because this may be affecting your health also.
Illness is real and accidents happen. What we tend to forget is that the mind-body connection is also a very real thing. If a positive mind-body connection does not exist, you may find your resistance to illness lowered. That is what was happening to me.
When I was younger, I was watching my nutrition and exercising most days like I do now, but I was stressed due to financial reasons when my husband was injured at work. Generally exercise helps me manage my stress but that time and many other times when I would become sick, my stress would be at an all time high. This pattern would repeat for many years until I finally figured out what the trigger was for my becoming ill. For me the trigger is stress.
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Stress is just one emotion that can affect the mind/body connection. Others include fear, depression, anxiety and many other emotions. To put it simply, our emotions when we are not able to control them may affect our physical health.
Have you ever tried to do something scary that you have never attempted before? Remember how your heart beat sped up while you were thinking about it? That is the mind-body connection in action. My girlfriends talked me into zip lining in Ohio for our 52nd birthdays and I was afraid. Very afraid because I’ve never had a desire to hang from a line between trees before just like I’ve never had a desire to jump from a bridge attached to a rubber band or leap out of a perfectly good airplane. Nope. Nada. No way.
When we were climbing up to the first launch in the tree my heart was beating a mile a minute. My mouth was dry and all I could think was WHY am I doing this? I was experiencing very real physical effects as a result of my mind going through everything that could possibly happen or go wrong.
Fast forward and zip lining is an absolute blast. You can see so much of this beautiful world we live in when you are standing on a platform built in between the tree tops. What this proved though is just like stress, anxiety and many other emotions including fear have a direct impact on our physical response. Once you understand this, you can better manage it for a healthier you.
Pay particular attention to how your body responds when you think about something you have on your calendar that you do not want to do. Could be as simple as a doctor’s appointment. When our blood pressure rises at the doctor’s office it is often called the white coat syndrome.
Can you control your body’s physical response to your mental thoughts? It’s a process for sure but being aware of it is the first step to being able to control it. When you feel your body physically responding to your thoughts, take a few moments and focus on your breathing. A breathing technique I learned to help me deal with my stress was to inhale for a count of five, hold that breath for a count of five, then exhale for a count of five.
Focusing on your breathing takes the focus off the thoughts that triggered the physical response in your body. So next time someone tells you to breathe, take them up on that suggestion and say thank you.
To your health,
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Denise Sanger lives a life split between her love for fitness and her passion for travel particularly to the BEACH. Denise also has a love of marketing and lives in beautiful Suwannee County, Florida. You can find out more about Denise here: About Denise