Get rid of toxic thoughts – recover faster from a chronic illness

Get rid of toxic thoughts – recover faster from a chronic illness

in Blog |

Toxic Thoughts

Toxic Thoughts

“Every thought we think is creating our future. ”― Louise Hay

Your brain and body are a sophisticated communications network. Your subconscious mind manages all of the ‘built-in’ processes that help your body function. This automatic communication happens without you having to think about it. In addition, our brains also process our conscious wishes and desires in parallel. This complex communication network comprises various systems working together in parallel, i.e. nerves (nervous systems), glands (endocrine system), arteries/veins (circulatory system), gut (digestive system), etc. A good analogy is the various systems we have in our homes. For us to live comfortably, we are dependent on the various systems such as the electrical system, plumbing system, HVAC system, wi-fi/internet system all working well together and independently. One example of systems working together in the home analogy is a humidifier. Water carried by the plumbing system, air from the HVAC and power from the electrical system all come together in the dehumidifier system to provide us a comfortable living environment.

Similarly, many systems in our bodies work together to provide us with optimum health. Your brain triggers electrical & chemical messages to various parts of your body. The glands secrete hormones (chemical messengers) which are transported to various organs and cells in our body, by the blood flowing in our arteries and veins. Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that help communication between the brain and body. Neurotransmitters instruct your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest. Hormones and neurotransmitter play an important part in the functioning of your body. As the conductor of an orchestra, that generates beautiful music from a group of performers playing very different instruments, your subconscious brain choreographs the working of the various systems in your body, to operate in harmony.

Your subconscious brain is hard-wired for survival. So when faced with a threat, all of your systems are fired up into full gear to survive, i.e. confront the threat head-on or avoid the threat. This instinctive survival reaction is called a physiological stress response. Unfortunately, our subconscious brain cannot distinguish between real or perceived threats. Your reaction to both is almost identical.

So how we perceive people and things around us has a definite impact on our physiology at a cellular level. Our ancestors faced threats once a day or once in several days. The body was able to cope with a flood of stress hormones (chemicals) for short periods of times and then a few days of calm where the body would regroup and recover. Unfortunately in our modern, hectic lives we are faced with stressors 24/7, real or perceived. Our brains are flip-flopping between the past and the future, e.g., who wronged us, or who is out to get us! This constant stress response floods your body with the stress hormones (chemicals) which can be harmful or toxic to your body at a cellular level.

What are toxic thoughts?

Toxic thinking is a survival strategy that constantly activates the body’s survival response unnecessary. Though well-intended, is essentially a way of dealing with painful feelings, i.e. not feeling “good enough,” deserving enough” or “having enough”. These feeling are a natural part of dealing with life or relationship issues and other stress situations.

Between 75% and 95% of the chronic illnesses that we encounter today are a direct result of our toxic thought patterns. Your thought affects you physically and emotionally. We have a toxic emotion epidemic of sorts.

On average a person more has than 30,000 thoughts every day. Through some of these toxic thoughts, we create the conditions for illness; we make ourselves sick!

Studies show that fear, by itself, can trigger about 1,400 physical and chemical responses and can trigger a wide range of different hormones.

Physiological reaction caused by toxic thoughts cause various illnesses: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, skin problems, asthma, allergies, Fibromyalgia, IBS, etc.

How to stop toxic thinking

Consciously controlling the toxic thoughts can start to heal your body.

Increasingly, brain science research is showing that adopting strategies consciously to disrupt negative & destructive thought patterns is an effective way of detoxifying the brain.

One way to disrupt the negative thought pattern is to engaging the logical brain rather that the subconscious (primitive) brain; learning to engage interactively with every thought and analyze it before you decide to accept it or reject it.

By engaging the logical brain (the prefrontal cortex) the primitive brain is “pushed aside” and you are no longer in reactive mode.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • How many “could-have”, “would-have”, “should-have” statements have you made today?
  • How many “if only’s” were part of your inner vocabulary today?
  • How many times have you replayed in your head a conversation or situation that pained you, or one that hasn’t even occurred yet?
  • How many scenarios have you created of the unpredictable future?
  • How much time is speculation taking out of your day?
  • Are you at cross-purposes with yourself – going through the motions, but not really committed to the goal, saying one thing but meaning another?
  • How distorted is your thinking? Are you forming a personal identity around a illness or conditions ? Do you speak about “my arthritis”, “my multiple sclerosis”, “my heart problems”?
  • Do you ever make comments like “nothing ever goes right for me”; “everything I touch fails”; “I always mess-up”?

Focusing on the above points is the first step to getting rid of toxic thoughts.

Another simple but powerful technique is to adopt is a mindfulness process. Here is a 1-minute mindfulness process.

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