Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Topic Tuesday - Thinking Differently

Topic Tuesday - Thinking Differently

The mind is truly a powerful thing. What we feed it, what we allow it to think and process will dictate not only our actions and reactions, but it will change our literal chemistry within our bodies. It seems that with the advancement of science and technology we’re able to understand this process a little better than Socrates or Plato could have ever imagined, but they did imagine some pretty incredible things.

According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuro-scientist who studies the brain:

“87% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It's an epidemic of toxic emotions.
The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. Through an uncontrolled thought life, we create the conditions for illness; we make ourselves sick! Research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones. There are INTELLECTUAL and MEDICAL reasons to FORGIVE! Toxic waste generated by toxic thoughts causes the following illnesses: diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin problems and allergies to name just a few.”

I am currently finishing up the first round of her 21 day brain detox program, and let me tell you, it’s pretty amazing. I have grown up in a world where the phrase “learn to take your thoughts captive” was as well known as “clean your dishes.” I have struggled and triumphed in doing this, but to have an application that helps you walk through the process of literally cleaning out your brain and ridding your body of toxins that begin with your thought life is pretty “life changing.”
It amazes me that there can be so much good and bad driven from something we can’t necessarily see. Our brains can make or break our days -- even our lives! I find that even the self help scenarios of encouraging people to stop when they’re having a bad day and take an inventory of all they have to be grateful for makes an inspiring change in the direction they were headed for that particular day. What is more is setting down that path of gratitude can actually stop a devastating change in your life. In concept, or even in simple explanation, this seems easy enough to do, however, anyone who has stopped an angry or negative train of thought will tell you it is one of the more challenging things to do in life.

I can tell you that within the short period of time I have been ridding myself of one, and only one toxic thought, my health, mood, and peace have increased. After walking through some challenging things in the last two years, I noticed an increase in my levels of anxiety in certain situations. I knew what a panic attack was because I had a few on airplanes. Those were becoming a regular occurrence. I began to notice that I was having a lot of those moments where you imagine conversations with people who hurt you, and I would spend an awful lot of my real life complaining about a lot of little things. I started to change my patterns then because I knew that wasn’t a healthy way to live, but the panic attacks only decreased in small amounts. In less than 21 days, with some of these little therapy tools, the panic attacks pretty much disappeared. I can only imagine what other healthy benefits will come as I get to explore more new and healthier thoughts to have. It sounds so silly, but honestly, it makes perfect sense and the science is there to back it up!

I wanted to discuss this today because I think it is an important foundational piece in moving our world forward. It all starts with what and how we think. I wonder if perhaps some of the major challenges we face in the world, and in our local communities comes from how we initially think about ourselves. If we don’t feel good about ourselves, in any given area, then we certainly cannot give kindness, grace, or goodness to others in those areas.

I’d like to pose a challenge to all of us to look at how we can change the way we think a bit. Instead of thinking the world is out to get us, or that nothing goes right for us, what if we started seeing the gifts we have? What if we started becoming aware of the kind things people do for us? What if we start our days imagining doing kind things for others? What if God really does want to direct us and help us understand His mind, which is full of love, compassion, and understanding so we can apply it to ourselves and to the world around us? I think it’s worth a thought. Don’t you? ;)

Until next time,
Take care of your hearts & ears!

~Listen With Your Heart~

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